As my high school coach spoke and handed me the certificate and my teammates clapped in congratulations, I couldn’t help but think that just maybe the “Athlete of the Meet” certificate wasn’t totally reflective of how I actually performed in the last cross country meet. Each school’s cross country course was known for something and in the case of the latest meet, the Central Catholic cross country course was known for rolling hills and then an incredibly steep grassy ascent, about 1/2 a mile from the 3.1 mile course finish line. In that particular race, my coach was stationed about halfway up that notable hill, able to witness the climb but the finish line hidden from her vantage point. As I approached the challenging climb, my heart pounded on my chest, almost as hard as my feet pounded the grass. In that moment i decided I would go all out. I would sprint up this hill, pass the two girls right ahead of me and finish this race. My shoes hit the bottom of the hill and just like that I took off, bounding up the hill as though this steep ascent was no different than the flat field I had just covered. My coach cheered, I passed not one but two of the girls I was chasing and I pushed through the burn in my legs to keep that speed as a crested the top of the hill and made my final turn to the finish line. But then, suddenly, the adrenaline I had relied on began to tank and I realized as I continued to run, my breath now ragged, cheeks flushed, that maybe, just maybe, I had bitten off more than I could chew. Despite the close finish line, the pace and force at which I strode up that hill was no longer maintainable and in the final stretch of the race I was passed by not one but both of the athletes I had passed on the way up the hill. I pushed too hard, too fast, and couldn’t maintain it. I finished the race feeling very aware that the strategy I had chosen probably resulted in a slower race time than had I just maintained a steady pace up the hill.
That wasn’t the first day and definitely wouldn’t be the last day where I would go too hard in something and run out of gas before the finish. In that case it was a race, but there have been plenty of times in other aspects of life where I’ve had a grand plan to tackle something, a diet, a fitness plan, a home project and halfway through realized I didn’t have it in me to maintain that extreme pace, to keep up with what I had started.
It’s tempting to want to speed through to the finish, to take big leaps towards our goals. While these come with good intentions, it’s usually, in my experience, the small steps, small changes, small increases at improvement that are the most easily maintained. The changes that happen slowly, with intent, and then eventually happen with such ease, that they become a habit.
When you eat with Box Bistro no big change is necessary, no major overhaul of your life is needed to either start or to continue to eat in a way that will make you feel well, so you can live well. By using our service regularly you can make eating well an easily maintainable habit in your life.