It’s Okay to Take a Moment

It’s hard to believe that just last week was New Year’s. It already seems a lifetime ago.

We had some foul weather Wednesday and Thursday, which meant a lot of things got cancelled, including my Kempo classes. I’ve got to admit, I sighed a huge breath of relief. Because I really wasn’t feeling it.

In fact, for the last several days my body has been telling me pretty loudly that it’s exhausted and just wants to binge-watch British gardening shows on Netflix.

My current obsession: Big Dreams, Small Spaces.

Exercise is necessary. It’s good and good for you. Having exercise goals are awesome; they help keep you inspired and on track. But if you don’t slow down sometimes—if you don’t heed your bodies need for rest—you risk injury.

As any athlete will tell you, nothing gets in the way of your goals faster than an injury sidelining you for a month or more.

We’ve all been there. Pushing through a workout even though we can feel ourselves checking out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been halfway through my second kempo class of an evening, only to forget how to punch. Or worse, how to block. I just stand there, staring at my uke, because I have no effin’ idea what’s going on.

That’s when I get almost all of my bruises, and when I’m most likely to get hit in the face, or take a throw badly, or comethisclose throwing my elbow out of joint.

Exhaustion makes us careless, and, yes, stupid.

The holidays are tougher on us than we like to admit. Many of us spend a solid month stressed out, running frantically from place to place, and doing our best to make everyone happy. If you’re hosting, there’s the added stress of providing food and entertainment. If you’ve got difficult family situations, that adds a whole other thick layer of ick.

Tie poor eating habits (cookies! latkes! egg nog!) in with the mental and emotional strain, and you get one big, physically wiped out you. There’s no get-up-and-go. No amount of inspiration is as tempting as that couch. Especially when the high for the day is 9 degrees.

So, if you’re body is saying no, listen to it. Give it a break. It’s had a tough few weeks and it needs a little time to sort things out.

Let it rest. Eat healthy food, stay warm if you’re in the colder climates. If you’re lucky enough to live someplace temperate, get out into nature. Soak it up, and let your body relax back into itself.

Give yourself the gift of a few days off. When you’re ready to tackle those goals again, you’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to kill it.

Even Toby, who loves the snow, doesn’t want to be out for more than ten minutes. It’s hibernating time. Indulge.