Aye, yo. I am struggling over here. Would you mind taking it easy so that I can catch a breather??!!
But in our hard-headed ways, oftentimes we ignore these pleas and trudge along. Why? Well sometimes it’s just hard to differentiate between the “suck it up” pain and the “pay attention” pain. Everyone has those people on their team who will put their name on the ballot for most dramatic performance by a track athlete every time they feel a little soreness here or an ache there. But it is also the mentality for some, including myself, that I have to do each and everything possible to prepare myself. If I don’t do this workout, there is someone else out there that is training twice as hard. A lot of times, it is a mental thing more than anything else.
I will admit, I didn’t always used to be like this. Yes, when I did train I tried to give 100%, but I can clearly remember the first Christmas break of my college career when Coach sent me home to California with a months worth of workouts and I came back having made it to the track a total of 6 times. He noticed. And back in the day, I also used to be the captain of the cheer squad if something came up and we were unable to practice. Rain? Woohoo! They are re-paining the track? Score! We have the day off to study for finals? Sweeeet!
But I am a changed woman these days.
I am admitting now that I think my body was trying to get my attention, and because I refused to notice, it took matters into it’s own hands. It just simply stopped functioning. It’s a hard thing to explain if you’ve never experienced it yourself. I train 5 to 6 days a week and even if sometimes my body doesn’t feel as fresh and crisp as other times, you are still able to make do. I knew something was up on Saturday when I raced in Tempe. I didn’t feel horrible, but I felt like my body didn’t have that extra ‘pick up and go’ that you usually experience in a race. It felt like I was stuck in 3rd gear. Still, I chalked it up to a myriad of other things. Then, at practice on Monday, I started with long jump approaches and I couldn’t make it to the board. It took numerous tries and the most insane effort ever to run my approach. I felt as if I was running through mud. So Tuesday I was going to take it easy and just do strides, and when I tell you that to make myself jog a lap was tantamount to running a marathon…I would only be exaggerating a little bit.
So I was put on mandatory active rest for the remainder of the week. There was nothing I did specifically that overworked my body, it’s just an accumulative thing that can happen to anybody at any time. Sometimes your body just wants a little rest, and when you don’t give it that, it will find a way to take it anyway. My coach new I would be a little bothered, being that I open up in the long jump this weekend and I had no good sessions this week to prepare, but he told me quite simply that at this point, I am the jumper that I am. Another practice session is not going to produce any miraculous achievements and it’s more important that I try and get my body feeling good more than anything. I begrudgingly agreed.
Sometimes it’s bizarre how our mind processes things. I am so extremely anal when it comes to my technical practices or ones I consider to be of extreme importance. It’s not as if I don’t have 14 years of work under my belt, but if I miss this one practice THE WORLD IS OVER. Everything is fine though. I will have an easy week of extreme recovery under my belt and hopefully my body will thank me for it.