Working smart (despite the crazies)

I’m sitting here in bed, laptop propped on my lap and I’m facing one of those frustrating inner battles (or ‘mind crazies’ as my sis and I like to call them) — the battle where your head is trying to tell you one thing but your body is telling you something entirely different.

So: who do you listen to?

Your brain that’s telling you to go for it, stop being so cautious and just get that run in that you planned on?

Or…

Your body that’s telling you that a run is probably not the best of ideas. Your right knee is a little cranky. A run will do it no good.

But a run *would* do my brain good. My brain that keeps telling me to get moving, work for that sweat that I love so much and quit making excuses.

…but is a cranky knee an excuse?

Um, no.

This, my friends, is the one drawback to being so passionate about fitness — I sometimes want to push it too hard. Not because I think I need to or else I’ll gain 45 pounds in 24 hours. That’s not why I workout the way that I do. I workout because I love it, because it makes me happy and I feel so alive and energized because of it. Sure, the physical benefits aren’t too shabby either (let’s be real), but ultimately — I workout for wellness, and yes – for how it nourishes my soul, too.

Note to self: please work smart. Please ignore the mind crazies.

~~~~~

I’ve been reading a lot lately in bloggy land about this desire to push, push, push, no matter what. It’s called the #noexcuses mantra. It’s something I hadn’t really been paying all that much attention to until I read Carly’s post (thanks to Christine’s hat tip to her on Friday!) on the topic. I totally agree with Carly on this one — #noexcuses has become a crutch to allow bloggers to work too hard, push too much and workout when they should be resting. I mean, I’m all for getting out of your comfort zone, working hard for results and motivating others by leading by example. All about that.

What I’m NOT about? Working harder, not smarter. It’s just not worth it.

~~~~~

Another post that got me thinking — a LOT — is one from Heidi: If fitness is about health, why hurt yourself? I mean, the title of her post pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? WHY push to the point of injury? None of us are out there professionally competing or aiming for Olympic gold, so working *that* hard, to the point of injury or excessive fatigue is just doing more harm than good. I mean really, why are takes ourselves so seriously? Fitness should be fun, at least I think it should be. And fitness is most certainly *not* fun if it results in injury.

Thank you a million times over Heidi, I needed that reminder. So much.

~~~~~

Can you tell I just wrote this post essentially to 1) quiet my mind and 2) remember both why I workout and what my workout mantra is? (I’m so transparent, I know…ha)

So yes, this is me — reminding myself and all of you that working smart is so much more important than working harder. Always.

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26 thoughts on “Working smart (despite the crazies)

  1. oh i totally feel you on this one. i’ve had to take a break from running these past few months and i miss it terribly… but i know itz what’s best for my body right now. plus, there are plenty of other exercises that i can do (hello, strength training!)

    • Right — sometimes those breaks work in your favor in that you find something ELSE to love while you can’t do what you REALLY love *and* it helps you really appreciate the sport or activity that you’ve been away from for awhile, that much more. You know?

  2. I read Carly’s post when she wrote it too and totally agree. I think it even goes farther than the desire to work out when your body is telling you know. I think that sometimes you CAN have an excuse that’s really just an excuse (you’re tired, you want to do something else, etc) and that’s okay too. Where I struggle sometimes, is letting myself be okay with that, though I know it to be true.

    • Right — there’s definitely two kinds of excuses — the “I’m just not in the mood” excuse and the “I’m legit injured/tired/sore/overworked but trying to force the workout anyway” version that is the BAD kind of “#noexcuses” to me. There’s a big difference.

  3. Yes, I needed to read this again this morning. I’ve been battling my body and mind lately – I intend to take a day off but then I end up doing something instead. It might be light but my body craves movement. And right now, my foot is acting up and I know that I just need to stay off it but my mind starts freaking out about my training and OMG it’s PF and the end of the world!! which I know it’s not but feels that way πŸ™‚ Sorry for the rambles but so glad that you are working SMART.

  4. 100% agree you should work out more efficiently, smarter. If it’s not fun, if it’s painful, why continue to push yourself. It sets unrealistic goals, especially for those that look up to some of the people in bloggy land.

    Beautiful post!

    • You are so right — part of blogging is about setting the right example, and setting realistic, healthy and balanced goals for yourself (in and out of bloggy land). Thank you friend! Glad you agree πŸ™‚

  5. TOTALLY agree sis…we just do so much because we love it, not because of a fear of gaining weight or anything, but because we LOVE it and it is hard to tamp down that passion when a potential injury arises, but you are doing the right thing. and I will remember this the next time I am hemming and hawing over a run that I may not need to be doing, just WANT to do (where the benefits of that run may not outweigh NOT running).

    • It’s SO hard to pull back when it’s something we both love SO SO MUCH. I’m glad we have eachother to reset expectations and things when either one of us swings too far in the go-go-go direction…as hard as it is to hear sometimes. πŸ˜‰

  6. I 100% agree, and as a mom sometimes your workouts don’t happen for other reasons and you HAVE to be okay with that. All these #noexcuses bother me because some have gotten 3 hours of sleep and have a sick child, yet they are out there running 8 miles. The sleep deprivation not only puts them at risk because they aren’t aware. It means they may not be as “with it” when caring for their child. It’s, IMO, best to learn early that it’s okay to take a rest day or an unscheduled rest day.

    • That’s the hardest lesson isn’t it? Learning that it’s ok to take a rest day, scheduled or otherwise. SUCH a hard one, but once you learn it, it becomes easier and easier to embrace, right?

  7. Ah yes…I have been seeing a lot of this on instagram and the blog world. Working out 5 times a day doesn’t make you awesome…it makes you a person who is missing out on plenty of other things in life. πŸ™‚ Don’t beat yourself up for taking a much needed day off!!!!!!! πŸ™‚

  8. I read that post too, also thanks to Christine! I couldn’t agree more…it’s not always smart to squeeze in a workout when you should rest instead. Bloggers should work smarter not harder.

  9. Mind Crazies… I may have to borrow that phrase! I know exactly what you mean. It’s so hard to balance isn’t it? Even if you want to get the workout in for all the right reasons (for the love of the sweat, not fear of the fat), it doesn’t mean that the workout is the right thing for you at the moment!

    Also thank you for pointing me to some new fitness blogs! I love finding new great sites to read πŸ™‚

    • Exactly — even if it IS for the love of the sweat vs. the fear of the fat (great phrase, huh? haha), it doesn’t always equate to meaning you SHOULD get that workout in. It’s so hard to say no to something you love though huh??

  10. Always that fine line of doing something you are so passionate about and then over doing it. And I think that (as Heidi pointed out) that runners are definitely major violators of this. You run b/c you “need” that run mentally. You NEED that time to decompress, sort through life, zone out, find your peace. But your body can’t always keep up. But your brain? Oh hell, that brain gets us into all kinds of trouble. I am the queen violator!

    • The mind crazies are hard to ignore or shut down sometimes, right?? BUT like you said, it’s something you HAVE to learn to heed or you’ll wind up in a heap of trouble, ya know?

  11. I swear that being passionate about fitness is a HUGE drawback for me. I use it as an excuse often to push too hard. I’m really learning to focus on taking care of myself and not overdo things beyond the healthy level. I can soooo relate to this post! I hope you’re having a great week and hopefully the crazies have passed.

    • I know, I’ve been there — where I just want to do, do, do even though I KNOW how important rest is for the body (even more important than the workout itself in some ways/cases). It’s just hard when you love something so much to have to pull back, people think I’m nuts but I LOVE this stuff!! We share that love, I can tell πŸ™‚

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