Perhaps it was my ambiguously mostly un-religious (not anti-religious, just un-religious) upbringing, but the concept of a day reserved especially for the art of resting is beyond me. I am extremely fidgety if my energy is not burned off or sweated out of my system. Also, I fall victim to an emotion SportsMedicine.com notes: “Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high-level performance, but many still over train and feel guilty when they take a day off.” Guilty as charged.
There should be no surprise that I was baptized in a Catholic church given the amount of guilt I feel for the most minor violations of my own construction. A constant over-apologizer to everyone else, I cannot offer the change to forgive myself. Thus, a day without a workout becomes a day that lingers in my mind for weeks afterwards, no matter how hard I try to reason myself into acceptance.
It matters little that every major and minor fitness guru touts the rest day as an essential part of a fitness plan. SportsMedicine.com says, “Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen. For recreational athletes, building in rest days can help maintain a better balance between home, work and fitness goals.” And they are not the only ones who have something to say on the subject. Runner’s World is equally strong, saying, “A day off every seven to 14 days restocks glycogen stores, builds strength, and reduces fatigue. Without recovery, adaptation may occur short-term, but ultimately it will fail. And since most injuries come from overuse, a day of cross-training, rest, or easy miles can prevent three-or four-week forced breaks caused by, say, ITB syndrome.” Still, I cannot help but want to be on the go every day. Blame unemployment, or a desire to feel as though I achieved something or met a goal I set for myself, but that guilt lies at my doorstep like the most adorable puppy wanting to come inside no matter what the facts are.
However, I tend to get a little peachy-preachy about the idea of mixing up routines and aiming to be different. So in the tradition of practicing what I dish out, I am going to give myself a free pass for today. In theory, I should be extra energized tomorrow, my muscles should loosen up quickly, and maybe I will wake up rejuvenated with the spirit of Let’s Do It! resonating in my body.
Besides, today’s day of rest was not so terrible. I got a lot of work done, sold clothes at Buffalo Exchange, gave a teaching demonstration, and wrote until my fingers needed a stretching break. Plus, not once today did I feel like I wanted to take a nap. With days like this, it’s easy to imagine a life that does not have running built into it…almost.