After flying in from SF and getting dropped off at home yesterday, I rushed to unpack, change, and head to the gym to train. I had run a pretty intense 7.5 course the day before at the Bay to Breakers event and my legs were still sore, especially from the crazy SF hills. I still wanted to stick to the plan, an 85 minute bike ride and 42 minute swim.
I could feel my legs burning extra while on the spin bike – I don’t even know if that’s what it’s called haha. I relented, Okay, just 70 minutes tonight. But I’d still go the full 42 minutes in the pool. Cool.
After finishing the 70 minutes and stretching, I headed to the pool in the back of the gym. The water was heated – nice. I pulled on my swim cap and goggles, set my timer, and pushed off for my warm up lap.
I could feel the soreness in my arms as I pulled, even for the warm up. I had expected it. I kept pulling anyway. I was determined. Plus I had cut my bike time way short.
I did the first twenty pretty easy. As I was pushing toward thirty, I could feel myself hurting with soreness. Even my legs, which don’t exert too much energy when swimming were complaining of tiredness.
At one point, I thought to myself, This isn’t right.
I was pushing pushing pushing my body with my mind and it felt… unjust for some reason hahah. I felt myself remind myself that I had put my body through a lot in the past 36 hours with the run and flying out. Plus I didn’t get a full night’s rest both nights in SF – I usually sleep like a log but I woke up a couple times throughout the nights.
While swimming, I realized I needed to exercise some self-compassion. I was so dead set on checking off a workout, being committed. It sounds so virtuous – lol – or dedicated but it took me a moment to listen to my body tell me what it needs. It needed rest, it needed to be valued above the workout.
And it made sense because hello, without the body, the workout was nothing. This might be a simple truth for you, but it was an epiphany for me.
As much as I pride myself in my dedication, health, and strength, I knew I had to let go. I knew it would be counterproductive and harmful to my philosophy toward training, to be a slavedriver.
I would normally never quit in the middle – that’s a quitter move. Weakness.
But this time was different. I needed to recognize that and give myself the room to be. Otherwise I’d be breaking myself, my body, over something inanimate, something that exists on a piece of paper.
So I stopped. I had swum 20 minutes, so half – not too bad anyway.
After showering and changing, I walked out of the gym, hair still wet, feeling good. The soreness was a reminder of my strength, the feel-goodness was a reminder of my evolution and mindfulness of myself as a whole. And it was important that I treat myself well. Because this is how I want to lead and love others – with compassion, respect, and understanding.
That’s all. Also, I’m exercising self-compassion again – I skipped yesterday’s blog post. Hahaha. I was tired. It’s okay.