Salty’s post today on Speedism brought a story to mind that I’d like to share with you.
In the early, more conceptual days of Salty Running, there was a lot of back and forth on our logo. We knew we liked the idea of a lady running off the page, but we also knew we needed something else. A friendly face to hook people in.
I wanted to come up with an animal mascot, something adorable that everyone could see herself in. Naturally, I thought of cheetahs, gazelles, greyhounds, birds…but nothing was quite right, so I kept thinking…What kind of animal is strong and confident in its ability to get where it’s going? Then it dawned on me…
A slow animal.
Hmm, a tortoise could work. First of all, they’re cute! And the tortoise beat the hare, after all, because he worked hard and kept moving when the hare was screwing around. The tortoise is the king of running his own race, right?
But when I looked for tortoises I found someone else smiling back at me and everything made sense. I could have used something much cuter and cuddlier…a squirrel, a bunny, an orangutan…but this little mollusk just spoke to me.
First, it’s a tongue-in-cheek poke at our name, Salty Running…if you don’t know, snails can’t be exposed to high levels of salt or their bodies will dry out and they’ll die. (They need to stay hydrated!)
Snails are known for being slow, but so many of us feel slow much of the time. Any runner who’s run with other people knows how it can feel when everyone else is passing you…not great. But we can learn from the little snail, who keeps matter-of-factly trucking along no matter what anyone else is doing. True, she wouldn’t beat any other animal in a race, but she’s not racing anyone else. She’s working at her own pace.
And snails are tough little mollusks! They’ve been around for more than 600 million years for good reason-they’re adaptable, versatile, and able to grow hard shells around their soft bodies to protect themselves when things get tough.
If there’s one thing we want you to take away from Salty Running, it’s that we believe in you no matter what your pace is. We want you to get faster, but fast is relative. We want you to be stronger, but strong is relative. We want you to be better…not better than anyone else, but better than you ever hoped you would be. And more than anything, we want you to smile when you get where you’re going, no matter how long it takes you to get there.