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Balance

August 13, 2013

“But I plan to learn to be a better listener to the subtle signals in myself. That is the beginning of health, I think.” -Marian Call

I have a hard time listening to those signals within myself. Moderation and balance do not come naturally to me. Sleep, food, running…I tend to go to extremes. I force myself to get up early to get things done until I eventually crash. I don’t eat until I get extremely hungry and then can’t stop myself from eating far too much. I run and I run and I run. And I run. Because if a little bit of running is good more must be better, right? (Spoiler: wrong!)

I have to consciously try to get adequate amounts of sleep reassuring myself that I’m not as effective at work (and play) if I am sleep deprived. I’m trying to allow myself to eat snacks when I need them to prevent the inevitable gorging that accompanies extreme hunger. And I’m trying to determine how far I can safely run for maximum benefit.

Once I’ve committed to a training plan, I tend to follow it to the letter; getting anxious when trying to figure out when I’m going to fit in the designated runs around other plans. It’s hard for me to determine when I need a rest day (whether or not my training plan calls for it) vs. pushing through some fatigue. Generally I opt to push through any discomfort because isn’t that what racing’s all about? Training for a marathon requires training my mind not to give up when things get uncomfortable. It’s about working hard and pushing myself in order to improve. Of course, as anyone who’s sustained an overuse injury can verify, you can have too much of a good thing. My training plans always have built in rest days, but I’m sure listening to my own body, recovering at its own rate, would yield better results.

Triangle

Triangles are all about balance, amiright?

Listening to the “subtle signals in myself” is much hard said than done. How do I tell the difference between just being lazy and legitimately needing to rest my legs? As much as I want to will my mind to immediately identify what my subconscious and body are trying to say, it’s impossible to force this communication. I’m going to need to practice and observe; see how I react to different stimuli and how successes and failures are preceded. This is going to require patience with myself, another skill I’ll need to acquire on my way to this “health” of which I hear so much.

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