Today is one of those unscheduled rest days. I slightly pulled a hamstring in yesterday’s workout and know a day off is probably not a bad thing. I am a bit frustrated and anxious not going to the gym today, but that is all the more reason to challenge it and give my body the rest it needs. That is another great thing about the human body which I am learning through experience – if you have a minor injury and you take care of it, the recovery time can be a lot quicker! I have had pulled hamstrings before and the injury always lingered and was constantly being aggravated because I would ignore the pain and press on. As an athlete you have to be able to distinguish between pain that is alright to push through and pain that isn’t. I was never good at recognizing that and have dealt with a lot of lingering injuries as a result. This pain wasn’t terrible and I knew from experience I could finish my workout so I did even though I took it slow. This is also a nice reminder of where I have come from. I generally would have ignored the pain, pushed through the workout like normal, made the injury worse, and would still have been at the gym the next day. I would also be dealing with pain and aggravation for the next week or two. Today I am taking the day off and I already feel better. I already know that this won’t be something to linger on because I am taking care of myself and that is okay. My training isn’t going to suffer because I missed a day or because I go slower for a couple days. In fact I know now that I will probably be even stronger as a result of listening to myself. It is still a struggle not going to workout, but I would much rather rest and have productive workouts than limp through them literally for a week.
This week has been dragging along and I also need a rest mentally. I have had several car issues, dental issues, insurance issues, all the “issues” add up after awhile. Even more reason to slow down and take care of myself. I used to feel guilty about taking some “me” time with all of these things to get done. But just like taking some time off of working out to let the body rest, taking time to let the mind rest also sets you up to be a lot healthier in the long run. Instead of pushing through and becoming exhausted, making small goals and taking time out to do things like writing and playing with dogs and reading is crucial for getting me through tough weeks. If you are feeling overwhelmed physically or mentally, don’t forget to take that time to nourish your soul!