Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 60 something: Big Thoughts from a Little Nugget

So this is the second listing in my two part series of balance. Last week I wrote about needing to take two days off as rest days when I realized I couldn't lift 65 lbs. over my head because I was mentally and physically exhausted. 

The entire time I was taking a break I knew it was the right thing to do because I came back to CF on Monday and have been feeling great. Yet, my friend Nugget wrote something from a different perspective. She writes about finding motivation necessary to do SOMETHING (and by this we don't emphasize crossfit - but SOMETHING) during the Holiday Season.

Hope you all enjoy - particularly the blog lurkers (yes, I'm talking about you) =)

The holidays are trying on everyone... There isn't a day in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas that I don't wake up and want to hit snooze and roll back over and go back to sleep- a duvet is probably the most damaging invention ever on a side note.
One of the things I've noticed recently, and have been called out on before, is using my exhaustion and tiredness as an excuse for my laziness. Now before we go any further, let me give you a glimpse of my last 3 months... I DON'T SLEEP! It doesn't matter what time I go to bed or what time I wake up, it doesn't matter if the room is dark or bright, silent or eardrum bleeding loud, dirty or clean, I haven't slept more than 4-5 hours in a row in 3 months and trust me that will make you a little bit crazy... and by a little bit I mean to say REALLY CRAZY
I used to be able to go home and put on a pair of baggy sweats and just crash into bed for 12 hours occationally and feel okay or just mope and feel bad about myself, however, not anymore. One of the great/awful things (depending on your attitude) is the accountability of Crossfit. If I'm not there for a few days, I get calls and emails and texts asking where I am and to get my ass into the gym. It doesn't matter if I'm tired, I'm always tired and its nothing more than an excuse... everyone in our gym is tired, we're all adults and we all work hard...  other people have kids and familys to manage which I cannot even fathom and in addition it's also what happens when you clean and jerk your body weight or deadlift more than you ever imagined or do 100 pull ups in a day, you're exhausted and miserable... but happy thanks to endorphins (your body's natural crack-cocaine).
Please don't look at me and say well exhaustion means take a break- well yes take a break and recover but if your break or your rest day turns into a rest 2-3 days, it's easy to turn into a rest week or a rest month. As someone who had pnemonia last year and took a rest month, coming back is basically starting all over again and you dread it- It's really easy to get into the "Oh I'll go tomorrow" mentality and never step into a gym again. On that same note, It's the same with paleo and cheat meals... If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll probably want milk, a party, cake and other goodies and then will end up doing keg stands and dancing drunk on tables... its never a good ending.
So what does this mean? I've contradicted myself 3 or 4 times here but it means listen to your body. If you're truly exhausted go home and sleep... don't go watch a sex in the city marathon and eat 2 pounds of break and bake cookies, go sleep and allow your body to recover. If you're not going to do that, get your butt up and get going. You don't have to do Crossfit but at least go do SOMETHING****. Don't let little things become big excuses.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 59: Rest Days - Do you take them? How do you know when you need them?

This is the start of a three part series on balance. My favorite little nugget has written the second part but I'm writing the first in a spirit of openness and honesty (maybe some of you have felt this way - maybe some of you haven't).

I am an internal stressor. Period. This means that often my stress just continues to build until it gets taken out on my body. In high school I used to stress out so badly (prepare yourself this is disgusting) that I would have a mouth FULL of canker sores. . .NOT adding to my kiss ability as a high school girl either =)

Currently, being in a Ph.D. program I am quite familiar and accepting of stress, I've learned to deal, and that frankly stress is just part of my life. I also don't let it rule my life. But the last few weeks have been quite overwhelming with school stuff, dissertation stuff, teaching stuff, etc. Yesterday I went to CF and could barely row during the warm up. . mentally I wasn't there - I was thinking about all the other things I had to do and I just couldn't turn it off. Physically I felt pretty drained (all week actually) BUT I didn't want to seem like a lazy ass, and I didn't want to seem like I was letting my stress dictate my activities. So I ended up doin' a very half assed version of the workout but I just couldn't pull it together. Running felt like I was dragging around two ton bricks on my legs and I could barely push press 65 lbs over my head (which for me is silly - often times I'll pick up 65 lbs and wonder if I have the right weight on the bar because it seems so light)

Needless to say it was ridiculous and pitiful. I went home - feeling even worse since I 'failed' during that wod and started to wonder if maybe I needed a few days off.  Then I went into all the crazy negative talk
"Why do I need rest days - I take Wednesday and Sundays off"
"It's not like I'm doing anything abnormal in the gym - in fact, most days I come in towards the end of the pack in the workouts"
"Why do I need an extra rest - what's my problem, suck it up"
"I'm never going to lose this weight if I do this sort of thing"

But then I started to think that MAYBE I do need a rest - and what's it going to hurt if I take two mental and physical rest days. . .walk my dog, stretch, etc.

And that's what I plan to do.

 Normally I workout Friday and Saturday. Well this week I'm taking Friday (today) and tomorrow off. I'm going to walk my dog extra, stretch a whole bunch and just gear up for the next week (my last week of classes EVER btw). =)

But most importantly, I'm NOT going to allow myself to wear myself down because of my negative crazy self talk. . .if crossfit has taught me anything, it's taught me that THAT is a waste of time =)

So folks. . .what about you? Do you ever feel that your body and mind need a break? Do you take one? What do you do if you take one?

Hugs - THROUGH the interwebs (muhahaha - I can't help myself)