Week 3 done! 5 more to go!
Starting off week three I felt so strong. I actually felt on fiiiire. I was doing doubles every single day, back to back classes, making it work on time (which I know isn’t something to brag about, sorry boss if you’re reading this but hey running around from one place to another with 500 hundred things on my mind and packing each day as if I am spending the night at go-away camp, I tend to loose track of time), keeping up with my work for training (journals, training manual assignments, etc.) staying on track of blogging emails, eating right, and sleeping! I felt like I finally had this all under control. My mind was finally stronger than my physical body. I actually never thought that was possible, even after all those years of discipline and dedication towards my competitive swimming days since the age of 6 through college & keeping up with school/jobs, I was definitely the first one to complain about waking up at 5 AM for practice and hated the fact that I had to swim doubles and lift in the same day because I had to get my hair wet twice. Times have changed…granted the pool was really cold and did make my hair turn green. Anyways, then Friday hit. I just crashed and I crashed hard.
I had barely slept through the night before and my body had hit a wall. I still pushed through it, went to work, and still managed to do back to back classes Friday night. Mind you its hot power yoga, 95-105 degrees, intense. Also, I am working on this whole thing, of “stop complaining and just do it” attitude. It works, you should give it a try and see how different your days go, because honestly, the “struggle isn’t real” you only create the struggle. I told myself that if I did doubles Friday night I would take the weekend off. Then I thought to myself, after I finished the classes, feeling pretty proud of myself, why do I need to do doubles to give myself the weekend off, why can’t I just listen to my body right now and take a break or do one class? My brain couldn’t handle any more information and I didn’t really want to do back to back classes, I was merely going through the motions in order to not feel guilty. Why was I feeling guilty? I had accomplished 12 classes in just one week, not counting the hour walking to and from work every single day. I feel that I set the bar so high for myself, that one class wasn’t good enough and I needed to get through two just to give myself a break over the weekend. Ok, so you probably all think I am crazy. Side note: that is part of my personality. I am full speed ahead with most things that I love and once I am focused, there is not turning back. I tend to push myself and see how far I can go- it’s almost a game- I’ve yet to be determined if this is healthy or sick.
OK so, WTF does listening to your body mean? Why do we feel so guilty about missing or skipping days and resting? Who are we competing against? Ourselves or the person next to us?
The challenge is finding that edge that is healthy enough for you and either working towards it or breaking through it mentally to come out stronger and even better than before. Get it? Our bodies are incredibly smart, but it is up to us to figure out the signals it is sending us to know when to either push a little harder or back off. Sometimes you just need to take a break, whether it is a break mentally or physically or both. You need to recharge your batteries, repair those muscles that you’ve been over-training, or you will start to loose focus and motivation. You will just go through the motions and lose sight of the purpose as to why you started this whole thing.
Sometimes the most productive thing you can allow yourself to do is rest, a break will re-energize and refocus you.
I feel that my biggest indication that I needed a break from yoga (relating it to yoga because I am going through training, but it honestly relates to anything- gym, social activities, social media, blogging, your job…) is when I am simply just not into it, and that was Friday. If you wake up and simply don’t want to go because you don’t feel like going, not because you are tired, it’s raining, or a little sore from the previous day’s workout, but because you feel that you are absolutely forcing yourself to go, then you shouldn’t be going. GUILT-FREE. Working out should be fun, it should release the stress from your day, not add to it. You should feel good going to it, have fun while doing it (for the most part!) and feel even better when it’s over. I realized this on Friday when my classes were finished. I know I should have taken a step back, listened to my body’s signals, and just gone straight home, instead of stressing out about the number of classes I needed to hit before training was over. My productivity levels were lacking, I was dragging by the end of the day and my stamina in class wasn’t even that great. This is when the problems start- you begin to compare yourself to others, you compare your "today’s" performance to the previous week, you make mistakes at work, and you simply aren’t putting your best foot forward. You just aren’t showing up.
I knew I had more than half way to go through my training and couldn’t afford to be feeling this way, but also realized that this is normal and everyone goes through these moments of self defeat, but what matters the most is the breakthroughs. So how do you overcome them? How do you recognize these signals?
For me, the lack of sleep, my inability to function throughout my day on Friday, struggling to get through the two classes on Friday, and simply the fact that I just didn’t even want to get out of bed to do my day was the first warning sign I ignored. How did I fix this? What did I do? I didn’t go wild, let loose, or give up entirely, I simply took time for myself and did exactly what I wanted to do. I made no commitments, no plans, no pressures to get anything done which included blog posts, photos, recipes, or workouts. Ironically I ended up getting so many things done but felt so relaxed over the weekend, I even made it to the gym (okay, so it is only 7 floors down in my building…) for a light workout because I actually wanted to go and I wanted to change things up for my muscles. By Sunday night, my mind was completely clutter free. I was ready to go to training for three hours and practice teach. [On Sunday we had to do a round robin and were randomly called on during the sequence we had learned and teach it to the rest of the class]. I was missing yoga, missing the studio, craving the heat, and the endorphins. I think that is what I needed. I needed to take a step back for a few days to miss everything to refocus my energy and find that excitement that I had in beginning that was lost in this moment.
I was also ready for this week to start. I couldn't wait to take my next yoga class and the thought of working all day and taking a double at night or one class didn't stress me out or cause me to become depressed. Taking just one day completely off from the studio and any responsibilities I might have had was all I needed to feel brand new, refreshed, and not feel the need to hop on a plane and never look back...which would be nice but...life has its responsibilities. That's all it took, one day off and the next day of light fun exercise, fresh air, and seeing friends to get me back on track. Did taking two days off throw me off and make me terrible at yoga? No, nothing changed physically. I didn't loose any strength, my core strength didn't disappear, in fact the two days gave time for my body to repair itself in order to perform even better in the upcoming weeks.
Sometimes, it's important to take one step back so you can move two steps forward. Instead of solely focusing on results you'll never see any progress, you need to focus on the progress and then you will start to see results.
Here's what I am loving this week:
1. I am all about the sexy backs for sport bars.
2. This one too & have you ever seen a lululemon sports bra for under $30?
3. The Nightly Routines of 15 Successful Women (article)
4. I am kind of excited about this. Goop skin care line?!
5. 9 foods for amazing skin? yes please!
6. I know this is old news, but I am still hung up on this. I don't care if you don't like Justin Beiber, but Carpool Karaoke with James Corden is the funniest thing. Watch. OK, if you really can't stand him, I give you Adele.