When I do the elliptical trainer, my pace is generally about 5 miles an hour. Often, I feel bad about this. It seems so slow in comparison to the people I know who do marathons and triathlons. (We’ll leave aside the question of why I choose those folks to measure myself against.)
So sometimes, I try to speed up in a grim, teeth-gritting manner, and then I can do a bit closer to 5.5 mph.
Today I couldn’t face going fast, but I still wanted to work hard. So I cranked up the resistance to 15. And gosh — it turns out that when I’m working against greater resistance, which forces me to slow down, I’m about as much slower as I am faster when I decrease resistance and increase speed. Which is to say, not much.
And it made me think about the ways I beat myself up for not writing fast enough. I’m not sure if I can extend the metaphor — would increasing resistance in that context mean taking on more challenging projects, requiring more research? Maybe.