Monday, November 11, 2013

Resting my way strong...

 Rest days.  I always hated them.  For YEARS I have lived over trained...working out 6 days a week...for up to 2 hours a day.  I lived on very little sleep and prided myself on never being injured.  I felt invincible at times.  I was able to do what I wanted and push myself hard without any real consequences it seemed...and then it all caught up to me.

In March I broke my wrist when I fell demonstrating a movement in the gym.  I remember lying in the emergency room...all alone...feeling defeated and scared.  I had just come off a 2 year separation and divorce that had drained me of much of my strength and desire to take care of myself.  I often felt fatigue or broke down crying while I was trying to train during those years.  I had JUST started to feel better and work out more like my old self for about 2 weeks when I had my accident.  Alone and frustrated, I started to tear up.  I quickly wiped my eyes with the sleeve of my sweatshirt and decided that this would not keep me down.  I vowed to keep working out in whatever capacity I could and promised myself that I would not feel sorry for myself.

I did well for a long time.  I ran, did workouts with one arm, and rarely missed a day in the gym.  I was sure that I would heal quickly and be back to new in a few months.  Unfortunately, that wasn't in the cards for me.  My wrist took much longer to heal that expected and once my wrist was better, I suffered with severe pain in the elbow on the other arm.  It has been 8 months since I was able to workout like I want.  As soon as the pain starts to get better, either something else hurts or I start working out again and the pain returns.
There have been days that I wanted to give up, but I've tried to continue to fight and do what I could through constant aches and pains.  I've watched my body change and felt helpless many times.  I've tried dieting, but there's no replacement for heavy lifting and intense workouts when it comes to body composition.  All along, I kept trying to fight until something occurred to me last week.  I didn't need to fight harder.  I need to rest.  I need to allow myself to heal fully before I can start the process of getting stronger again!

So that's where I'm at.  It feels like a bit of a standstill, but I know it's not.  I decided to write this for anyone else that may be feeling the way I've felt for so many months.  I've felt like a failure.  I've felt like an old battery with no charge left.  I've felt like life is passing me by and everyone else is progressing while I go backward.  I have CRAVED change while refusing to do anything different.  So now I'm doing different.  Now, I'm going to focus on getting well and stop comparing myself to everyone else around me.  I'm going to stop feeling like no one understands how much pain I'm in daily and focus on what I can do to get better so I'm no longer in pain.

We all work hard and push our bodies in our quest to get stronger but what we forget sometimes is that what we do in the gym isn't what makes us stronger.  Its during the rest AFTER the hard work, that we become stronger.  If you are healthy and feeling invincible like I used hard but don't forget to rest as well.  Stay hydrated, stretch, and get plenty of sleep.  Don't take your strength and health for granted.  If you are injured, take the time to heal.  Take the time to clean up your diet and spend the time you would spend in the gym doing things that will improve you in other ways!  It's important to work hard, but sometimes you have to REST if you want to be strong.