Are You Moving at Cheetah Speed?

Would I be correct in my assertion that you are in a considerably more hurried state of mind than usual? I don’t believe that my eyes deceive me. Your confession isn’t unexpected. “I’m always in a rush to get somewhere no matter the season or the reason!” What does this perpetual racing mode say about your lifestyle? Are there any conclusions that one could draw from observing your behavior? Are you always running behind schedule? Do you suffer from the all too common ailment known as CPD, or chronic procrastination disorder? The typical rationalization for not addressing this serious condition includes the following: 1. You have way too many things which you absolutely need to do, and 2. There is never, ever enough time to complete your lengthy “to-do” list.

So, what is to be done? Is there a remedy for one such as you always in the fast-lane? I have a suggestion. Slow down! In fact, you need to stop! Isn’t it clear that the hustle and bustle of your daily activities is thrusting a tremendous amount of undesirable stress upon you? Please think about what you are actually doing to yourself. Neither your spirit, mind, nor body was designed to handle all the extra weight of your worldly concerns. What effect do you think your break-neck pace may be having on your family and friends? It is essential for your well-being that you begin to ponder the end result of all this chaos. This is not a game. The very last piece of advice that you might want to hear is what I’ve just recommended. You are always trying to push yourself harder and faster. Your entire universe revolves around speed. You’d like to make the jump from light speed to ludicrous speed. (See Mel Brook’s “Space Balls”) As detrimental as you believe that altering course and speed might be to your routine right now, for goodness sake, please use the emergency brake. Yes, the lever that reads “Never Use”. This is the time to do the unthinkable. You, my friend, are not unsinkable or indestructible. The damage done by immediately halting now will be nothing compared to what disastrous crash awaits you if you take no such measure.


In 2013, Ed Yong wrote about some interesting research which had been done on the running habits of the world’s fastest land animal. Alan Wilson from the Royal Veterinary College conducted the studies on the African cheetah. Most people are fascinated with this big cat because of its blazing speed. It can reach speeds of between 59 and 65 MPH! That’s some serious moving for sure. However, most of the time, even while dutifully engaged in their daily hunts, cheetahs rarely ever run as fast as they are capable. Alan Wilson observed that the average speed of these amazing creatures was just 33 MPH. This rate was actually only hit for one or two seconds during the course of their activity. Wilson hypothesizes that cheetahs don’t regularly push themselves to the extreme limits of their body’s capabilities in regards to the speed component in order to preserve their ability to use some of their more important skills. So, for cheetahs speed is not the most critical factor in their hunts. The research clearly showed that when cheetahs were successful in catching their prey they weren’t running any faster than when they botched their attempts. Not surprisingly, it is their unique maneuverability skill that really mattered most. To hunt very agile prey, like the Impala, cheetahs have to rely heavily upon their ability to dodge and weave.  This part of the chase is certainly more difficult to perform while moving at top speeds. Think about how much easier it is, not to mention safer, to turn your automobile at a mere twenty miles per hour as compared to sixty miles per hour. “If you want to catch something, you don’t want to go faster than you have to,” says Wilson.

So, what can you learn from these fun facts about your friendly, neighborhood cheetah? Plenty! Consider these life lessons:

  1. You will undoubtedly make better decisions when you slow down your pace. A clearer mind will be the result, and it will give way to inspiration and prioritization.
  2. Save some strength and energy for when it’s really necessary. Trust me. The time will come when you’ll need it.
  3. Despite seeming to defy logic and be totally counter-intuitive, your decision to pace yourself like the cheetah will prove beneficial. This will allow you to more readily tap into your own innate talents as they are required for specific tasks.
  4. Being able to successfully maneuver the quick turns that mortality can throw at you is important.
  5. Sometimes you will succeed when you are “hunting for something and sometimes you will not. Accepting this simple reality can mean that you’ll be less inclined to give up on the pursuit of noble goals.
  6. You don’t have to keep up with the cheetahs of the world. Find your own manageable pace and you’ll discover you’re more at peace.
  7. Don’t try to do that which is against nature. I dislike using the word impossible, but surely you must accept the truth that you cannot do everything. Did you know that cheetahs are the only big cat that doesn’t climb trees? I doubt that they stress out about this. So, rely on your strengths and do what you can. I implore you to ask for help when you need it.
  8. Speed kills. Your present pace will ultimately bite you as firmly as a cheetah’s jaws.
  9. “See that these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.” — (Mosiah4:27)

“Slow down, you move to fast. Got to make the morning last.”–Paul Simon, “The 59th Street Song” You certainly have deeds to do and promises to keep. Have faith that you will be feeling groovy and the good times will last if you but decide today to put an end to your racing. There will be more of life to love when everything is not a blur.

photo credit: Cheetah Run via photopin (license)