Learning to let it go

I have a secret.

Well, it’s kind of a secret, kind of a mini confession.

I haven’t worked out in two weeks (basically).

TWO weeks of “rest”?! 

Yup, two weeks. Mostly sick-relaed, but partially vaca-related. Once I realized that beach was too short to run on, I sort of just let it go. And fully sank into a blissful few days of no routine whatsoever.

This from the girl who is notorious for HATING rest days, who used to get so caught up in the numbers game, who used to lay in bed beating herself up if she skipped a workout.

But no more.

I’m learning to let it go.

…letting go of my fierce grip on routine. Including workout routine. That means more of those “getting uncomfortable” situations like the Core Fusion challenge started out as, and just like other challenges before that.

….letting go of numbers, schedules. As in, ignoring the numbers on my garmin if/when I wear it. As in, no longer sticking to the workout manager over at Cathe.com to record my workouts. I don’t need to record them, I know (and my body feels it!) when I workout. I don’t need a written recording of it any longer. It used to be such a pride thing for me – to see so many days of the month filled up with workouts. But why? Nobody sees it but me so why was I so tied to it? No more. Not necessary.

…letting go of guilt. The past two weeks have taught me so much about myself. For one, I LOVE my workouts and freakin’ miss them so much. But I don’t miss them because I feel guilty because I haven’t burned x amount of calories or lifted x amount of weights. I miss them because they are part of me. And that’s a huge distinction – one that has literally taken my years to accept. Workouts and guilt should not go hand-in-hand. Ever. Workouts are meant to be cleansing, detoxifying, mind/body centering.

Whew. Just writing this all down and I feel a HUGE weight lifted from my shoulders. It feels great to just let it go, and just run. Just kick. Just spin. Just strength train. Just go to core fusion and breathe. For me. And only me.

If you haven’t noticed, this is something I’ve been slowly working towards the past few months and now that I’m “here” – well,  I’m not sure what comes next for me.

Well – first, I need to get better because I am DYING to give my new sneakers a spin, for one. <—they are seriously taunting me in the closet, no lie

But more seriously, what IS next for me? More races? More Core Fusion? A new weight rotation? All of the above? I’m not sure. I just know that I’m antsy. Again. What else is new? 😉

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29 thoughts on “Learning to let it go

      • The not working out part. Though, I probably should give it a shot huh? It can be such a catch 22 – working out to stay fit, and to help relieve stress but then it can become a stressor when you worry about not getting it done.

      • Dare I say – you might actually benefit from taking a workout vacation? You’ve been burned out on your latest rotation, you just rocked the half, you’re in excellent shape, but still sort of feeling like something is “missing” in your workouts from time to time, right? Maybe a few days of consecutive rest (guilt free) would sort of “reset” your thinking on your workouts and you’d come back refreshed.

        I have to say, I obviously didn’t set out to take a two week break from workouts, it sort of just happened that way due to illness and vacation. But I actually feel good – and know that I’ll get right back to it as I recover. And guess what? I’m pretty sure I haven’t gained ten pounds as a result, or lost all my muscle mass in the process. 😉

    • Totally…feels really good to just let it GO. All of it. Getting back to basics – the reasons why I love to workout as much as I do. Not because of some number or some made-up goal in my head. Just for me. That’s it.

  1. I love this! And I really relate. I just told Billy yesterday that my new job at lululemon allows me to break free from my rigid routines and schedules. I get to try yoga studios and gyms all over Dallas, and now that the half marathon is over, I’m just having fun with fitness. No plans, so numbers, just fun.

    I am very excited for you, and also think it’s wonderful that you gave yourself a true vacation.

    • That is so great – I bet it feels amazing to just have FUN with fitness. That’s really what it’s all about – having fun, being fit, living healthfully and ENJOYING it, versus getting so caught up in the structure, the numbers, etc.

      And ps. can I just say that I’m just slightly jealous of your Lululemon gig!!

  2. I give you credit sis, you are handling it way better than I would. And not recording it in the Cathe Workout Manager? I am honestly not sure if I could. I hate to admit it. I like to see the stats and recording them makes me feel accomplished. But I don’t need it. It is a crutch. you’re right.

    • Really sis? I mean, I’m kind of surprised that you’d react that way, but then again, maybe that’s why you’ve been harder on yourself than normal. Because you are focusing more on the numbers than I have been lately. I could be way off, but maybe it would help you to remove yourself a bit from that part of working out, getting back to doing it because you love it and that’s it.

      • I do focus on the numbers a bit I guess and it’s just something I am so in a habit of doing! But you are right, it makes me focus too much on the wrong things.

  3. I respect this a lot, mostly because I can’t do it. When I realized that filling out my log didn’t matter because nobody saw it, I published my Garmin Connect rss feed. When nobody subscribed to it and wrote me glowing letters about it, I started a blog so that I could have the RSS feed on the side and write little articles so that people could tell me the numbers matter.

    I’m so caught up in logging the miles, following the plan, that I don’t know if I respect your revelation or have my own (mini) secret confession that I want you to come crawling back to the crazy numbers regimen!

    • Wow. Your comment left me almost speechless. Not really speechless, but not really sure how to react or respond. But I’ll try.

      There is something to be said about logging lots of miles, seeing how well you progress along the way, how your pace improves, etc. It’s about learning how your body moves, how to imiprove that mood, etc. But, in some ways, focusing so much on numbers can end up having an adverse effect (at least I’ve found that it can). It can throw you into an overtraining mode, for one. Or, it can throw you of course in a way that you sometimes don’t even realize until you’re in the thick of it. That you no longer run because you love it. You no longer strength train because it feels good. You run, you lift weights, you spin (whatever your poison) because you feel like you HAVE to. Like you have some number to reach or else you’re a failure. I’m NOT saying that this is you, definitely not, but for me – I tend to veer towards extremes sometimes so I’ve been trying very hard to get away from numbers. It’s honestly taken me years to get to this spot. And I didn’t even realize I was there until I was hit with sickness and vacation that totally derailed me for two weeks. It wasn’t a planned thing. And maybe that’s the best way to reach that tipping point, rather than trying to “plan” for it. If that makes any sense.

      of course, now I’m rambling so hopefully I’m making some sense here, if not, blame it on the germs. 😉

  4. This is great! I am happy for you, and it is something I have been trying to do, too. Exercising is so much more fun when we do it for ourselves!

  5. “I don’t miss them because I feel guilty because I haven’t burned x amount of calories or lifted x amount of weights. I miss them because they are part of me.”

    That’s the best realization — it really does put you in a healthy relationship with your body and your workouts. As you know, I’m trying to let some of this go too. And in fact, I think the first step is always the scariest. I’m actually feeling pretty calm about all the rest I’ve taken recently (famous last words…)

    • Somehow I had a feeling you’d dig this post…I sort of wrote it with your latest struggles (and other blog friends too…) in mind in a way. It’s eye opening when you sit back and try to pinpoint what is that pushes you to workout, and if whatever “it” is is a healthy approach to fitness or not.

      I’m really glad you are feeling good (so far!) with the whole rest thing…it’s progress!

  6. it’s freeing isn’t it? i used to do a lot of international travel for work and once went 3 whole weeks without working out. i was a little worried about it, but when i got back to it, my body remembered everything and it was like picking up right where i left off, only mentally refreshed! i’m glad you are enjoying this transformation!

    • that’s exactly right! I worked out today and it was like nothing had even changed, it was an even better workout because my body was craving the workout and I could appreciate it way more because I’d taken an extended break. I clearly needed it.

  7. I am in the same place as you right now. Flexible, stress-free, and relaxed. I took a few consecutive days off after the marathon and I’m now doing what I want when I want. The “no plans” plan is amazing! Running is a part of my lifestyle and I will never give that up, but running does not have to be able time, pace, or distance. It’s so much more for me and I’m excited to get back to that. I’m also enjoying the classes at the gym again and working out with friends. I’m so glad you’re feeling refreshed and enjoying life as whole, not just fitness.

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