Something I’ve always struggled with is pacing myself. I have a terrible habit of going 100 miles an hour at something and then wondering why I crash and burn. I should know better as I have had years of dealing with chronic pain from my back problems and have had a lot of input from health service providers about the importance of pacing.
The trouble is, when you have a good day pain-wise, it’s tempting to forge ahead and do all the things you’ve had to put aside on your bad days because you really don’t know how long the good day will last. I’m not alone in this and it’s something that a lot of people struggle with.
I’ve recently had another timely reminder of it. In my last blog post I shared with you the amazing safer adaptive boxing classes I have discovered during lockdown. They really have been a lifeline for me and my physical and mental health have markedly improved since starting them. The other benefit has been a reduction in my pain levels. So I jumped on board and, as of Saturday this week, had done daily 1hr sessions for 12 days.
My husband, Alan, was mumbling on about the need to rest muscles but I am very bad at listening to what he says (I’m working on that). Day 11 I finished the session, but barely, as my “brain fog” from my Fibromyalgia was starting to kick in. Punch combinations that I had previously mastered were causing me difficulties and my classic overthinking habit appeared. Everything felt “sludgy” and hard and that wasn’t as much fun. I knew I needed to rest but I enjoy the classes so much I chose to pitch up for more on Friday morning.
During that class I asked the coach, Luiz, about the importance of rest and she confirmed what I already knew to be sensible and suggested at least one rest day over the weekend. I took Saturday off and on Sunday I did a session 45 minute on my own but slowed the moves right down and concentrated on core conditioning instead of cardio and fat burn. (amazingly enough boxing still gave me 30mins of fat burn even doing it like that, it really is an amazing form of exercise compared to things I’ve tried in the past)
I’m currently writing my second poetry book which will also be a guide to leading a happy and healthy life and the importance of rest and recovery will feature in that book. I know this stuff so why is it that I don’t follow my own advice?
I know I’m not alone in this as lots of my friends and colleagues are in the wellness arena. They, like me, tell me that they are very good at helping others but sometimes forget to take their own advice.
It’s a lesson we can all learn from and one I think lockdown is teaching a lot of people. Lots of people are starting to realise that life doesn’t have to be lived at such a fast pace. It’s OK to take time to rest and relax and do you know what? It actually makes you more efficient when you get back to whatever it was you were doing.
I rejoined the live classes yesterday and decided to do the whole class at a much slower pace. I still enjoyed it and was amazed to find that I’d still spent the majority of the session in fat burn mode and lost just as many calories as doing it full speed. I need to learn from this and realise I don’t have to be perfect. I simply have to do the best I can and build in time for rest and recovery.
In these challenging times please recognise when you’re tired and worn down (can be physical or mental) and take time out to replenish your energy.
Stay magical dear souls 🧚♀
Photo by Derek Liang on Unsplash