Running the Race

5th November 2021

We recently heard a story from Matt who regaled us with the details of his ‘career’ as a runner.

It turns out he had a natural talent for middle distance running. In high school he won the 800m, which saw him move onto competing against other local schools. Further wins saw him move onto vying against schools in his region, then with other regions from his state and then finally onto nationals, which saw him competing against the best of the best in the country, and all without having to train!

But alas, it wasn’t until he found himself running the national 800m that he realised his natural talent would no longer carry him to a win. It turns out the runners he was now competing against trained. And they trained hard.

They took their natural talent further with the discipline of intentional improvement.

After hearing his story, we found ourselves relating it to our time with needle and thread. Not only in regard to the training we may or may not engage in, but also our natural ‘distance’ for all things stitching.

We found ourselves wondering if we were sprinters who relish the thrill of projects that are small and quick to stitch. Perhaps, like Matt, we’re middle distance stitchers who like the in-between, just-right-size, kind of project. Or perhaps we’re long distance runners who like nothing better than to the lay the first stitch of a project we know will be a long, steady marathon.

What about you, do you find yourself gravitating toward a stitching ‘distance’ that feels natural, or are you able to easily switch between short, middle and long distance projects?

What about training? Do you set aside deliberate times of learning that build on your talent and ensure you’re always race ready no matter the stitching before you? 

If we’re honest, we sometimes find ourselves up against a project we realised we should have taken the time to train for, wishing we’d practised a particular stitch or technique prior to coming up against it in the middle of a project.

The good news though, is that unlike Matt who decided to fake an injury in his final 800m race to avoid the embarrassment of defeat, when we find ourselves ‘losing’ the stitching race before us, we can simply put our needlework aside, train and then resume where we left off with no one but us being any the wiser.

For us, the moral of Matt’s story is that there is most likely a stitching distance that suits us naturally and whilst we often think we can rely on natural talent for all things needle and thread, training would see us achieve more than perhaps we ever thought possible.

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