It’s a lesson that I seem to have a hard time learning sometimes: that sometimes the best thing that you can do for your body is to simply rest. Maybe its my need to have some company in this camp, but I would like to think that it’s a hard lesson for a lot of us to learn: we want to be stronger, faster, more technical, more…. all the things, essentially, so we work hard to get there. We hear stories of people who seem to be able to train twice a day, and while I think we logically know this can’t be true, we may operate under the assumption that these athletes are practically machines, and operate under the more dangerous idea that we can achieve that same level of training, we just need to push ourselves harder than ever before.
It’s also something that’s perpetuated by fit culture in a way- how many times have we all seen the graphic of some man or woman covered in sweat, with some text about working out to a point that you want to die, and you still keep going?
Yeah, that’s…. that’s not really healthy.
The part that no one wants to talk about with any of these killer workout regimens and the like is that you need to take time to recover. Maybe I’m talking about this now because I was supposed to be at the gym at 5am this morning to lift weights. I’ve been pushing myself a bit harder than normal- lifting heavier weights, adding more cardio sessions, pushing harder in jiu jitsu to help some teammates with upcoming tournaments, etc. Friends, I got up, sat in a chair and stared at the floor like a zombie for a good 5 minutes before taking full assessment of how I was feeling and decided screw it, I’m not going this morning. And that’s ok: not great, but definitely ok. Will I try to make up the lost training day later in the week? Absolutely. But ignoring the signs your body gives you now will create huge problems down the road: of course there’s something to be said about pushing past your limits, trying to do more in an effort to push outside of your comfort zone. You can’t expect to improve it you don’t reach beyond what you think your limits are now and again, but that shouldn’t be a default mode.
Like any piece of machinery, tool or object that you repeatedly use past its capabilities, there is a chance that it will break down more quickly. Thankfully, we are not simply machines and we can recover from the damage we put our bodies through, but especially during the times when we push ourselves the hardest, we need to make sure that we are paying attention to our recovery as well.
Just some thoughts to mull over, or if you have been feeling rundown and need some validation to take it a little easy on yourself today, here you go.
Have a great day everyone!