REST…just do it.

In case you guys hadn’t noticed, the holiday season is upon us. I’m not sure if you could tell with all of the red and green packaged candy lining the aisles of stores or perhaps the text book thick stack of sale fliers in your Sunday paper is what tipped you off. The craziness of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Yom Kippur or unofficial shopaholics season (whatever your celebration,) it makes the list of “to dos” seem never ending. Places and parties to be at, people to see, cards to mail, gifts to buy…not to mention, maintaining all your normal “barely manageable” lifestyle obligations. All of this stuff compounded can take a toll on a person.

Usually I am a pretty hard-nosed gal. Ya know, one of those people that overhears someone complaining about their “problems” and immediately want to butt in with a comment “you mean  life is happening?” I know, I’m heartless. But today I’m going to whine a little, because the holiday stress season has come in, all guns blazing, and is currently taking me on in hand to hand combat…I am trying not to lose. I RARELY get sick. Regular aerobic exercise keeps you healthy, ya know that? Yeah! sweating and breathing hard= polished and shiny immune system. Because of this, I’m usually pretty sufficient at dodging that bullet. The even worse part about it is I turn into a crabby, unhappy person when I don’t get in my daily training. So combine that with the crabbiness of being ill and, woah, look out Roy! So here I am laid up on the couch, unable to eat or drink anything and walking up the stairs causes a deep burn in my quads…..and all I can think about is how I can’t be doing a 10 minute AMRAP. Yeah, ok MAYBE I have a problem, whatever.

I love resting when it’s MY choice, granted I usually get the itch to get in the gym after a day away from it, but still, when I get to make that call it’s usually better handled. When I physically am incapacitated and cannot workout even though I want to…that’s when I get a lil’ peeved. In either situation, rest is necessary. I REPEAT, REST IS NECESSARY. So as part blog, part therapy for my current situation, I am going to spew on this point for a second.

I feel like people are under the impression that to get better at something, like CrossFit, you have to put in hours upon hours of training and practice. Truth: this is only partly true. Yes, you need to be dedicated and do solid, full effort work when you are training.  But over killing hours on the bar or rings is actually counter intuitive. It breaks you down physically and mentally. As CrossFitters, we must have the mindset of an ATHLETE. Even if you have never participated in an organized sport, ran more than a mile, or were always picked last at recess for kickball games, but you attend CrossFit classes on the regular, participate in the WODs, and sweat & bleed your gyms “ness”, you are an ATHLETE. Deal with it! As an ATHLETE, you need to be smart about your training and especially smart about listening to your body.

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I think a lot of dedicated athletes feel that taking several days to a week off will make them weak as a kitten. Well, in my case, it’s the illness that’s going to make you weak. Do not pretend you aren’t sick, throw in a heavy Oly session or a hard metcon thinking that will get your blood flowing and feeling back in grove. Sorry, tearing yourself down when your body is already working overtime to heal whatever illness you currently have doesn’t make sense. So take the rest, fight it off and come back able to crush! Besides, working out with a fever is the LAST thing you want to do…raise your body temperature more and spread contagious germs? You cray cray. If you don’t have a fever, and want to do something positive for yourself, use this forced “down time” to work on mobility. View your illness as an opportunity to work on quality movement

Maybe you aren’t sick… you’re just sick OF CROSSFIT. If you feel burned out, then step back for a day. If you feel that you need more than a day, take it. If you are going on vacation, take it as time to vacation. You don’t need to worry about the thrusters you are missing! You will always come back stronger after a little time off. Not only is rest good for you physically, it is great for you mentally. It will make you hungry to come back and get to work. Only you know how much your body can take before you need to sit on the sidelines…

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So as the stress of holidays passes, and  the chilly, sniffly, “cover up or you’ll catch a cold”  winter months remain upon us, bare them with this in mind. The hustle and bustle of daily life breaks us down more than we know, so don’t compound your icky feeling situation. Step away, recharge, and come back swinging for the fences. Wow, I think I have almost convinced myself to enjoy this sick time…man, I’m good. 🙂

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