If you remember, at the beginning of this year I decided to take a break from running. It was no longer bringing me joy and I was totally burned out. It was a tough choice, but more and more I’m realizing it was the best one for me.
Just because I don’t run doesn’t mean that I have totally given up on working out. In fact, I think my workouts, and overall health, have improved vastly by taking a step back from running. Adam and I have been following along with Fitness Blender’s workout programs and they’re no joke! They incorporate strength, flexibility, HIIT, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, plyometrics… anything is fair game in their workouts and it keeps my body and my mind engaged in what I’m doing.
Last Friday, as we were finishing up our workout, Kelli (one-half of the husband/wife duo behind Fitness Blender) mentioned lifting a weight that’s heavy and challenging for you. She also said that it was totally ok to drop the weight completely and just use body weight and that it was important to listen to your body. After hearing this Adam quipped, “Unless you’re Katie, then you just keep pushing through the pain.” He was mostly kidding and I told him I don’t always do that but then I started thinking about my runs.
No matter what, I always pushed through my runs. The only time that I didn’t was when I hurt my knee and physically could NOT run. Other than that, I ran and there were definitely some times that I should have stayed home. Pushing through those times is probably what led to me being burned out on running. It’s probably what made my body tell me that I had to stop or something worse than a slight knee injury was coming.
I’m not saying pushing through a tough workout is a bad thing. It’s important to go a little outside your comfort zone and push yourself in order to become stronger, faster, and better. But it shouldn’t come at the risk of your overall health. If your body is telling you it has to stop or it’s going to completely give out, you should listen to it.
Which is part of what I have been doing the last few months. There are days when I am raring to go on my workout, where I feel so strong and can lift heavier than I ever have before. Then there are days when I’m more tired and can’t go at 115% the whole time. That’s ok. Before I would have thought I was just being lazy. I would have said you have to push past this and keep go, go, going. Now I pull back and listen and realize my body knows what’s best.
It’s kind of a relief, for both my mind and my body, to know that I don’t have to go all out 100% of the time. It’s ok to pull back a little and adjust to what you need in that moment. Health is a series of ups and downs. You hope and work for the best but realize there are going to be times when you have to give in and take the down. It’s a part of life and it’s all good!