Life is not always how we would like it to be. It is the way it is. We can make it easier on us by accepting things the way they are, learning from them and taking the best out of them, or we can make it hard by trying to be in control even when things are out of our control.
I have had to learn my lesson the hard way. But, so far, I have learned it. I liked to believe I was always in control. I lined up my goals, made plans about how to get them and then try to force them to happen. Sometimes things went my way but, some other times, they didn’t.
I started running almost 7 years ago. My first couple of years everything went according to plan. I had my cycles planned, my workouts written and I was hitting most of them and achieving most of my goals. As I started to become a faster runner I planned my cycle, I was supposed to be hitting certain times, winning certain events and so forth. And then I got injured. The problem was not getting injured, the problem was that refused to accept what was happening and I tried to made the recovery fitting into my plans. I gave myself certain number of days to be healthy, I asked the doctors how long would it take to be running again, I made plans for it and then… well, it didn’t happen. Turned out my body needed longer time to be at its 100% again. But I didn’t listen. So, instead of taking a couple of more weeks I ended up injured on and off for almost two years.
Listening to our bodies is key. When there is something that doesn’t feel right you need to stop and see your body what is it that it needs. Believe me, it’s better to stop a couple of days to take care of things than to try to force things on your body because “you have a plan” and end up injured for a longer time or in a worst way.
I know better nowadays. I have learned to differentiate discomfort from pain. Discomfort goes away when you stop training. Pain keeps bothering you even after you have stopped. I have a continuous nagging thing in my right hamstring. It is just tighter than the left one. But it doesn’t hurt so I keep running on it. There have been times, on occasion, when it actually becomes tighter or starts bothering me. On those occasions I stop my run and I take the next two days off to let it rest and I go to see my chiropractor and massage therapist to get at it. I know it sounds extreme but this has allowed me to keep running consistently for over two years now. See? two less days of running is better than two full weeks.
And you? Are you listening to your body?
Thanks for reading. Remember to follow me in twitter (@terezacher), instagram (@insightfulrunner) and Facebook (Tere Zacher/Athlete) for motivation throughout the day.