Necessary Recovery

Jun 18, 2015 by

          “Good morning!” I said to the friend working the front desk when I walked into the gym yesterday.

          “How are you?” he asked.

          “I’m not wanting to work out!” I responded with a sarcastically enthusiastic pump of my fist.

          “But you’re here!” he reminded.

          “Yes, I’m here,” I smiled. I’m always here, I thought bitterly.

          Over two hours went by before I was on my way out of the gym far later than usual. Not because I worked harder, but because I took longer breaks between sets than normal.

          “Got through your workout?” he asked.

          “Slowly but surely!” I replied.

          “How’s the dancing going?”

          “Good!” I answered automatically. “Well, I was supposed to be in the studio Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, but I pulled myself out of all classes,” I admitted like I was in confession. “I knew I needed a break last week; and because I didn’t take one, I could barely lift myself up the pole when I was in on Saturday. I feel so much better now though, so I’ll be back in studio on Thursday.”

          “You needed a recovery period,” he assured. “You’re going to feel so much stronger.”

 

***

 

          Last Thursday, I woke up feeling cemented to my bed. I wasn’t sore. I was just exhausted. My body had been feeling heavy since Monday; and by Thursday, I was either reaching burnout or had already arrived at it. I wasn’t sure. I was too preoccupied with being unable to move. Given the circumstance, I told myself I’d take a one-day break from all physical activity. I decided not to go to the gym that morning and I cancelled that night’s aerial and pole classes. I also made a self-promise that I wouldn’t guiltily make it all up later – only to go to the gym after work and sign myself up for four classes at the studio in a row on Saturday. Note to self: Following being nice to your body, listen to it!

          By Saturday, I was so out of commission that I went from climbing to the ceiling the weekend before to sliding down the pole after just two pull-ups. Worse, I didn’t want to be there because, frustration aside, I could hear my bed calling me from the other side of Brampton.

          “You need to take a break,” my pole partner said after watching my struggle.

          “Yeah,” I agreed. “I was thinking about pulling myself out of Jeanie’s class tomorrow, but Sundays are my favourite!”

          “But what are you really going to accomplish?”

          It was a valid point. Being awake felt like a mission, never mind climbing a pole. Continuing to push myself wasn’t going to lead to progress. If anything, stubbornly sticking to my habit of powering through because I’d feel guilty otherwise was causing regression. I decided to break from the studio until I felt confident that I was rested enough to pull my body weight with ease and actually wanted to be on a pole. Realistically, I wasn’t going to lose my strength because of a few days off. In fact, I’d probably help it. Now, I feel a million times better, and I’m so ready to get back in an aerial swing and up on a pole tonight.

Happiness Tip: Listen to your body.

 
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