I'm from the "spartan up" generation from seven years ago when if you hit a rough spot, ailment, or injury, you just simply "powered through." If you raced back then, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
"You're sick? Suck it up buttercup."
"You're NOT training right now? What’s wrong with you?"
"What do you mean you’re not racing anymore? Sign up for one right now!"
Cold? Suck it up. Injury? Find a way to race anyway. People in worse conditions than you are racing right now. Seven fractures in four metatarsals? You better believe I'm still coaching warm-ups and racing for "fun."
I was totally in it to win it and I didn't want a silly sinus infection to keep me from my two-a-days, the flu to keep me from competing and winning, or crutches and a walking boot to stop me from what I "loved" to do. I was team "no days off" and I lived that life to a T.
But I was young then. Not that I’m old now (don’t you dare snicker), but I’m oldER. and I think that matters. My mindset is completely different. I no longer have something to prove to other people (and if you I do, the door is that way --->), but I do have something to prove to myself.
It isn't if I can climb that mountain faster than before. It's not about getting a new lifting PR. It's certainly not about who is faster down the track. But it IS about challenging myself physically and mentally - by paying more attention to my self-care and setting reasonable goals and expectations. Sometimes it’s ok to push through a cold and sweat it out. Other times, not so much. That’s when it all comes down to listening to my body and my mind and connecting the two. Trust me, it’s easier than it sounds.
You don't have to believe me (I wouldn't have either), but I've lived in that space long enough to know that pushing through something just makes it take longer than if I took time off and returned after a few off days. That continuing to ignore my symptoms and working out anyways, not taking time off and punishing myself for poor performance - that just prolongs my sickness or injury. Sometimes I legitimately need time to wind down and heal. And so do you.
So... it's ok to not be ok. It really is. It's okay to take some time to heal, to get better, to work on your health - for you. Tune into your body and see what IT wants to do - what it CAN do. And focus on one day at a time. Take it from someone who learned from experience, “off-day” isn’t a bad word anymore, and it doesn’t make you less unbreakable - it’s just a part of the process.
xoxo - #LiveUnbreakable