Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Too Much Too Soon

Sometimes when we set about to change something in our lives we attack our goal with such veracity that we quickly burn out and abandon our efforts.

It's a tale as old as time. When we first set our sights on a goal, we are filled with energy and enthusiasm and dive in with all of our might.

When the going gets a little tough, however, some of that energy and enthusiasm can fade, and we find that our resolve can waiver a bit.

I think of the many times that I started exercise programs in my life, only to over do it, hurt myself in some way, and then backing off or quitting altogether.

When we try to do too much too soon, it generally doesn't go well.

We've had a really cloudy and wet spring and early summer here in Seattle. We always have a lot of rain here, but this has been abnormal!

A couple weeks ago, we had a hot sunny day. By hot, I mean that it got into the low 70s! That should tell you how it's been around here!! I was excited to get a little sun. I put on a backless top and went out to pull weeds in my garden.

I was only out there for an hour. The sun felt glorious on my back.

When I showered, I noticed that my back looked a little tan.

"Cool," I thought to myself, "my first tan line of the season!"

Little did I realize in that moment, but I had totally fried my back. I had a really bad sunburn, which became painfully clear as the day and evening wore on.

Until that day, I had zero sun exposure on my back this year! I didn't realize just how "un-tan" I was and that an hour in the bright sun was way too much for my body to handle well.

I had good intentions to get some Vitamin D exposure, but I took it too fast. I did too much too soon, and I paid for it! The pain, the itching phase, and of course, not being able to expose my back to the sun again anytime soon were all consequences of my over zealousness!

When we set goals and take on new tasks, we need to start slow and build from there. It's better to do something slowly and consistently than it is to go all out for a time or two and then quit. We never make lasting progress that way.

Slow and steady wins the race. If you're taking on any new projects or goals, make sure you set a realistic, sustainable pace, and stick to it!