I saw something on facebook the other day, which got me thinking… It was one of those inspirational quote against a picture backdrop posts that are very prevalent these days. It said something along the lines of, “I regret doing that workout – said no one, never.” I think there is a lot to this statement. My teachers have always said that getting on the mat is the hardest part of practicing and represents a lot, if not most, of the effort. But, I have to disagree with the notion that you will never regret a workout once you’ve done it. Anyone who has dealt with injuries knows better.
Case in point, a couple of years ago I decided to try to do a couch to 10k program. Despite the enormous amount of pain I would be in after the workouts, I kept on with them until I could barely walk. A nasty case of achilles tendonitis that took months to heal later, I can say with confidence that I regret those workouts. I did learn something important though. If you are in crying from pain after a workout, there is probably a reason and maybe you shouldn’t do it again (and again and again).
After that experience, I promised myself that I would be extra vigilant about listening to what my body tries to tell me. I missed my body shouting at me to stop the couch to 10k program because I put more stock into what I thought I should be doing than what my body was telling me I could do. It’s easy to forget that our bodies are wiser than our brains are when it comes to physical movement.
In the last week or so, an old injury flared up big time. My right foot is swollen and it hurts enough throughout the day that I notice myself limping more often than not. My brain keeps whispering to me, “Go to zumba, walk on the treadmill, push push push…” but I know my body knows better. So I am resting. I don’t want to, but my body is telling me I need to. And I am listening, and will continue to listen.
Does this mean we should never push ourselves? No – I think it’s very beneficial to challenge your edge. But, I do think our bodies tell us when something is too much. We need to learn to listen to and follow those cues. Have you had experiences where your body and brain don’t agree on what is an appropriate level of activity? How did you handle it? Let me know in the comments.