“He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.” – Benjamin Franklin
Too often we just go, go, go.
Our lives are complicated. We have thousands of decisions to make each day, hundreds of tasks to accomplish, and we spend more and more time trying to beat the rush and less and less time in tune with our bodies and spirits.
Derby likes to keep us at a fevered pace, whether it’s training, going to practices, or keeping things afloat behind the scenes.
Even the things we do for enjoyment, strength training for example, can fall prey to the need to keep pushing without stopping. We can get so caught up in the excitement of what we’re doing, personal bests that we’re hitting, and the endorphin rush that exercise gives us, that we can neglect the fact that our gains come when we are recovering.
You know those days when you feel like you can’t stop running or all the balls that you have up in the air will come crashing down. Those days when you wake up feeling tired and spend the day getting tired-er. Without a recovery strategy and the tools necessary to take rest without guilt or shame, this is the fast track to trouble.
Don’t let yourself get so busy that you feel guilt about claiming your rest. There are times in my life when I am scheduling when to shower, eat, and call my mom. I need to force myself to remember to schedule my rest. And when that rest comes, sometimes it’s a struggle to embrace it because I feel there are so many things that need doing. But I tell myself over and over, “my gains will come when I rest”.
Optimal recovery is pretty simple (simple, but not always easy) – eat well, get 8ish hours of sleep a night, and have a “recovery path”. Focus in our your relaxation – pay attention to what you are doing and what you’re not.
Here’s a great post from Geoff Pritchard about recovery strategies.
In a post a couple of years ago, Neghar Fonooni, a trainer I admire immensely, talked about her battles with stress and the need to have both mental regeneration along with the physical. Her message in a nutshell: Breathe and be present.
Rest doesn’t have to mean stopping entirely – it just means calming the eff down, and doing things that give you pleasure. You can still go for a skate, or a walk, or whatever you like. You can foam roll, get a massage, do some hydrotherapy. But the goal when you’re resting should be rest. Mental, physical, spiritual.
Inspiration strikes when you stop forcing it. Clarity comes when you can look away for a moment. Strength is really recovery from trauma.
Know when to rest. Your body needs it, your mind needs it. And when you rest, fill your rest with nothing but resting. Now, to take my own advice, I think I’ll curl up with a good book and a cute dog.