Between studying for my PhD methods exam (which I passed btw!) and traveling for natural hair events, I stopped working out. I kept telling myself I was too busy, too tired, too sick, or too hot to do anything – even a mile run or ten squats. So when I came back to the city and my friend and trainer Jasmine (Junkfit.com) invited (or forced) me to workout with her, I was excited to get back on track.
If anyone has gone a few weeks without exercising, and then you go and do a hard workout – let’s say lunges, broad jumps, and running stairs – you know where this story is going. I was happily sweating on Thursday, but on Friday, I was crawling around my apartment trying to make it to the bathroom. I was SORE! I limped about in pain on Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday. Even though I tried to stretch, take a hot bath, and walk around to loosen up my stiff muscles, the damage had been done.
If I had done a few squats or crunches at least two times a week in the several weeks I’d been traveling, even if for just 10 minutes, I wouldn’t have found myself in the position I was in. My muscles wouldn’t have gotten so weak that a moderate workout sent them into shock. If I had just continued moving, even a little bit, I would have been able to avoid pain, soreness, and mild paralysis.
Is there something in your life that you need to just keep moving with?
Perhaps your fitness goals, your protective styling, or your desire to get a new job or launch your business idea off the ground? You know that when you go a few days without pursuing it, you fall way off track and it takes you days, weeks, or maybe even months before you can get started up again? For me it’s reading my Bible, which was one of my 25 before 25 goals. – if I skip one day, it takes me a week (or in the most recent case, a month) to get back on track.
Back to my muscle soreness – after talking to Jasmine and my other friend Gina, who regularly competes in Ironman races, they advised the only solution for me was to lightly jog through the pain. I did the slowest possible jog yesterday, embarrassed by my limp on the treadmill, but after a few minutes, I was back to running at 75% without feeling any discomfort. Later that day, I was able to walk a little bit faster and with a lot less limping and leg buckling.
Moral of the story is this – when you do get off track, wallowing in your slip-up does nothing to help you. Complaining doesn’t work (trust me, I tried), getting frustrated doesn’t do anything either. You have to pick yourself up (even if it means limping to the gym like I did), shake off the shame and guilt, and push yourself through the pain of paralysis to get back going.
Whatever it is that you’re working toward, when you want to quit, remember how hard it was to get back on track the last time you gave up. Take heart in the fact that it’s easier to just keep moving, even if you’re moving slowly, than it is to stop and start up again.