I thought it would only be fair to follow up my ‘words of wisdom’ post with a ‘lack of intelligence’ post. I’m aiming for full disclosure here. I’d hate for you to get the wrong idea.
I frequently preach about the importance of listening to your body. (Actually I do this ad nauseam. Ask anybody who knows me.)
But, want to know a ‘not so secret’ secret? I have not been a very good listener this summer. I have ignored the signals my body has been giving me. I have ignored the little voice inside of my head.
And I am trying to figure out why. After all, I know better.
So. Where to start without completing boring you to tears?
How about this past school year? This past school year I was a good listener. I was smart. I was thinking about the bigger picture instead of seeking immediate gratification.
And now you are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about. Well, since you are still with me, let me tell you.
This past school year, I didn’t run every day. I went to yoga once a week…and not because I loved it, but because I knew my body felt better when I did. Some days I felt exhausted (I’m entitled…I teach middle school) and decided a long romantic evening walk with the hubby and pooch would suffice for my daily workout.
There were days I ellipticaled and there were days I biked.
And then summer happened. Suddenly my mornings were more relaxed. I didn’t need to set my alarm for 4:30 if I planned on running before school, so going for a run was an easy decision. It was simply the first thing I did each day. Almost every single day. With little exception. And this was in addition to walking Quinn (the above said pooch) twice a day.
Yoga was ignored. Why? Because yoga, meant a 20 minute car ride to get to the yoga studio. During the school year, I was fortunate to have quick trip across town. So it was just better time management to go for a run instead of going to yoga. Right?
This continued all the way through June.
In early July, I pulled out my training program for the 1/2 marathon I planned to run in fall. I was not motivated; I actually dreaded the thought of training.
For starters, the heel spur I’ve had for years, was bothering me more and more. Typically I would get a flare up with stiffness and ‘discomfort’ after longer runs, but now it didn’t matter how far I ran. And as an added bonus, the ‘discomfort’ occasionally turned into a stabbing pain through the bottom of my heel during my runs.
So just how lucky was I feeling when my son Logan shared some tips on proper foot strike one day?
Pretty lucky. Or so I thought. I continued running, avoiding contacting the road with my heel.
Great idea, right? It kind of worked.
I ran a few 5K’s without any serious tempo runs or speed workouts and was pleased with my 50 year old times, so obviously things were good.
But, truth be told, I wasn’t feeling it. Not at all. I wasn’t enjoying my runs. I wasn’t feeling invincible. My hamstring had been feeling achy and sore on and off for the past year or so. My heel pain was always present. And I just felt tired.
But I kept on.
And then last week happened. Out of nowhere, I felt a stabbing pain in my right big toe. It lasted less than 10 minutes or so, but then my toe got all tight and swollen.
Scared me a bit.
Actually, more than a bit. So much so, that the following day I went right to puppy walking duty without going on my morning run.
At one point during the walk, after the stiffness dissipated, but before the pain arrived, I even began to think that maybe I could get out and run after all. Just a short one. Fortunately, God was right there to set me straight.
I hobbled home, thinking.
And this is what I’ve decided. I will forgo the 1/2 this fall. I finally admitted to myself that the only reason to run it was because I didn’t want to not run it. You follow? Serious FOMO. Not a good reason to train for a race no matter how you’re feeling physically.
I was ready to listen. My body needed rest.
Therefore, I’ve limited my exercise to walking the pooch twice a day. And doing some core and light weights.
That was a week ago. How am I doing? Physically, I feel better. Mentally? Yeah. Not as good. Probably because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.
Why do we (see how I’m pulling you into this too?) continue to do things in the name of health when in all actuality it is anything but healthy?
I think it’s about having an identity. We do what we feel gives us purpose in life. And therefore, we often become ‘human doings’ rather than ‘human beings’.
Makes me feel rather shallow.
But I get it. I understand. We are not significant because of what we do, but because of who we are.
So now I’m trying to keep the bigger picture in mind. I want to be able to enjoy life. I want to run
until I am old. Really old.
And I won’t be able to do any of that unless I listen to my body now.
(BTW…I have an appointment with a podiatrist next month.)