Rest and running are two activities that go hand in hand. It’s funny to think of “rest” as an activity, even hard to classify it as such, but without participating in rest, runners deprive their bodies of much-needed recovery time. That being said, this week, I learned about granting myself permission to engaging in both rest AND running.
How I Avoided Rest
Once I was cleared for “walking as exercise”, I committed to doing so every day. My rationale was that I could speed or power walk three days a week, and then go for more of a stroll the rest of the days. It felt like a reasonable plan, and as long as my leg and body could tolerate the activity, I wouldn’t be doing any harm. After all, what could be better than walking out in the fresh air? I added in some strength training and continued my PE exercises, all in the anemic of getting stronger and pushing to my end goal. When I got there, I would schedule rest and running (walking days interspersed with running days) and not pay it another thought.
I confess, this attitude towards rest and running might be considered a little disordered. It’s something with which I struggle. Being sidelined has been difficult: I don’t want to lose fitness and gain weight, and therefore I push harder in exercise. I talk a big game about taking it slow and being prudent, but on the inside, I want so badly to be back out there, pushing to the next step. Smart? Nope. But that’s the truth and if I am going to make anywhere close to a full recovery, I need to be honest with myself about the ways in which I can go too far.
Learning To Be Ok With Rest
On Mother’s Day, I planned to start my morning with a walk. I got up, took care of Luna, and prepared to head out, only to be faced with a torrential downpour. I knew we were having brunch around lunchtime, so I figured I could scoot out during a break in the weather and no harm done. That break never came, so I thought I would go out later in the day when things were more clear. And when that time came, I had eaten food and had a mimosa and a Mother’s Day shot, and the only things I wanted to do was take a picture with little man and the pugs, and sit on the couch. So I did.
And the world didn’t end. I didn’t spontaneously combust. It was ok to just sit and be still.
Rest Is Not The Enemy
In fact, rest and running are very much friends. Rest makes you stronger. It gives your muscles time to heal. I promise, taking time to rest will make you a better athlete, minimize injury, and allow you to reach more of your goals than pushing and overtraining. Grant yourself the permission to take those days off and to let your rest and running work together to make you more well-rounded.
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How do you give yourself permission to rest?