“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.” - Ashleigh Brilliant
Just over a week until my race season begins and I’m in rest and recovery mode.
Why? Because for the past few months I’ve been training and pushing myself just about 7 days a week.
Why? Because the dark and cold of winter can suck the life out of person and I knew if I stopped, I would struggle to get started again.
Why? Because I want to be better than I was the day before....faster, stronger, smarter...and that means I need to train. Right?
I am learning a lesson (the hard way) that I expect every athlete* must learn at some point. That in order to become better, faster, and stronger you must also allow your body time to recover. Unfortunately, having found a love for fitness a bit later in life means learning the lessons late as well. Thankfully, the phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a falsehood. Those of us that have chosen to change our lives prove every day that anything is possible at any age.
Believe me, knowing the reasons why my body needs time to recover does not make it any easier. This “rest” period is not a choice. It is the result of my body finally breaking down under the abuse and no longer performing as it should. And, it is knowing that if I don’t take care of it now I risk permanent injury which I absolutely want to avoid. If that means rest, then I’ll rest. Like it or not.
Still, it is not easy. I stood pacing and practically bouncing out of my shoes as I watched my fellow Spartan teammates train this past weekend. Unable to join in (in other words, “ordered” by our trainers), I was there for moral support and team camaraderie. It sucked. They were put through a killer workout and all I could do was watch.
‘It’s only temporary,’ repeating in my head.
Now, as the sun makes a much overdue appearance reminding us that the long, dark days of winter are finally coming to an end, I grow more antsy and anxious to be outdoors and moving. My bicycle and running shoes sit beckoning. Could I take a leisurely ride or run? Possibly, but I’ve never been one to do things in moderation. I guess that’s lesson number two of the week.
1. Listen to your body. Respect it. Rest it. Recover.
2. Moderation is a good thing. Push beyond your limits, but not every day.
For now, I will have to settle for walks with the dog, yoga, and stretching. By week’s end, I hope to be on the road taking a stab at sticking to a leisurely pace. I need to focus on clearing my overactive mind of the clutter, my body of the restlessness, and begin to focus on the bigger picture. I only have one body and I owe it the respect it deserves if I expect it to perform at its peak.
*I still have trouble referring to myself as an athlete. It seems so odd at this stage of my life. But, I’m actively training to compete (albeit against myself) in races and therefore, I *am* an athlete. Right? LOL...it still makes me snicker...but in a good way.