In the past I have never been good at listening to my body. The old me used to push through things. Heavy exercise regimes that made me look fantastic but were driven because I was ridden with guilt. I would drag myself around to social things when I was not well out of obligation, or because something was already scheduled months in advance. I never left time to be flexible or listen to what I needed at the time. My parents come from the old school, to only take a sick day when you are really sick ,(dying). Maybe that is where I got it from. The thought to keep pushing through. To keep on going. This does not work for me, and it actually never has. My immune system always suffers when I have too much going on. In more recent times, I have realised that doing nothing, and having down time is just as important as the activity you put in. If you don’t rest, you can never replenish.
It was the perfect storm of over committing to things which I think led to my major health demise in August. The ongoing stress of waiting for The Ginger Hunk’s DVA claims and hip saga, coupled with a new team and stuff to get my head around at work. Add to this training for a 25km trail run, with a month packed of social activities, a hen’s night, two plays, two weddings, two weekends away and the actual trail run event, before heading on the plane a week later with my sister to Vietnam for her 40th. My head was already hurting just thinking about how I was going to get through the month, then bbbaaammmm. Sickness imploded. Now I actually listen without pushing through. I feel like I do not have a choice. I have spent days in bed (much to the disgust of my mum), taken time off work and cancelled all non essential plans.
After two and a half weeks, three visits to the Doctor, second ear infection down I am finally on the mend and on the right antibiotics, but have decided after three weeks away from running I won’t be doing my goal event this Sunday. I just don’t feel I will be strong enough. It was always going to be a stress, going to a friend’s wedding first then driving to the Blue Mountains to race on Sunday. (Not the ideal race preparation at all as originally the race was a week later.) But I could have done it, if I was healthy. I would have been happy to do it. With my immune system at zero it is not a smart thing to push through, as I have another wedding the following weekend then away with my sis for her 40th. I don’t want to be getting on a plane with a messed up ear.
So I’m a bit down tonight, but I need to focus on getting well for… well…life.
This body of mine, I only have one of them…and the trails will call me again on October 23rd.
How are you at listening to your body?
Do you rest or push through?