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November 26th, 2011
12:48 PM ET

Letters to the President #1041: 'The value of putting your feet up'

Reporter's Note: I write a letter to the White House every day. Maybe I should take a break.

Dear Mr. President,

I'm trying to take a little break from all the running I've been doing this year, especially after my big 55 mile race a week ago. I imagine my legs could use some time to rest after a big year of training, so don't be surprised if you hear very little of my roadwork over the next few weeks. Oh sure, you may spot me trotting down the side of the road, but I won't be going far or fast for a while.

The value of taking it easy, in our current economic and political climate, is greatly underestimated I think. When times grow a tad desperate, everyone thinks they need to push harder. But sometimes I think what you really have to do is slow down, rest a little, and clear your head.

I noticed during the big race (and I've pondered this since) that at times I had trouble with even basic calculations: How far had I gone? What sort of speed was I running? Was I lost? Did I need to speed up or could I afford to slow down? The fatigue in my legs muddled my thoughts, and often I was tempted to simply surge forward in a vague sense of panic. But if I had given in, almost certainly I would have ended up burning out entirely and not finishing the race.

Only when you have the right perspective, can you decide on the proper course of action. So I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend too. There will be time enough on Monday to start working the grindstone again.

Call if you have a moment.

Regards,
Tom

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman