Who Gave You Permission to Rest?

Posted on March 1, 2013. Filed under: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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I’ve had what my brain considers to be some very lazy days.  The taskmaster part of my brain, that is.  The part that creates my schedule, absolutely loves to-do lists, demands focus, and keeps me on-task, in work, sleep, fitness, and even fun.

I hate that part of my brain.

Particularly when my body and the rest of my brain are clamoring for free time.  Enough already, they scream, so loudly sometimes they keep me awake at night.

Why can’t I be like normal people and take it easy from time to time?  Assuming, of course, that’s what normal people do.

Since I completed a half marathon nearly 2 weeks ago, I have not gone out for a run or in to the gym for strength training.  Instead of waking up before the crack of dawn, I have let my body dictate when it wants to rise.  I still wake up (briefly) at 5 am, then roll over and promptly go back to sleep.  When I do get up, dawn has cracked.

I know that it’s good for me to take a break from routine of any kind.  It helps me to come back fresh, strong, whether I’m training for an event or tackling a work project head-on.  Mental and physical breaks are a necessity, at least for me.

Plus, it’s not like I’ve done nothing. I’ve gone to a few Pilates classes, done some Yoga.  I’ve focused on stretching and have resumed the daily core work my body needs.  I’ve started a new work project and tied up some loose ends. I’ve even set a date to begin whatever it is I’m supposed to begin:  March 1.  A nice, round number.

So why does the OCD part of my brain keep picking on me?

Wednesday morning I caught myself staring uncomfortably at my refrigerator. No, I was not trying to invoke any x-ray vision gifts I might have miraculously been given by trying to see the stacks of Girl Scout cookies in my freezer. I already broke into those.  Rather, I was noticing what was posted on the side.  My half marathon training schedule, all penciled in.  My race bib and finisher’s medal.   A race bib and 2nd place medal from a mid-training race.

I took them down and put them away, leaving an empty white space in their stead.  My OCD-brain breathed a sigh of relief. Order restored. A clean, white slate waiting to be filled.  The fist between my shoulder blades unclenched.

There is promise ahead. But first, at last, there is rest.

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