I’ve written previously about my issue with spring and how it affects my routine here. My trip to the doctor this year was a little bit later in the spring but with the same diagnosis – – sinusitis, resulting from allergies. The prescription following the diagnosis, was something I’d never heard before and it went something like this:
Dr.: I’m prescribing <antibiotic>. You should take it twice a day for 10 days. Continue taking them even if you start to feel better before then.
Me: okay (I know all this already, boring…)
Dr.: as for that exercise, I advise you to stop while you’re taking the medication.
Me: no exercise?
Me: for 10 days?
Dr.: How can your body heal if you’re exercising? Doing so forces your body to concentrate on something else in lieu of healing the infection.
I was skeptical about his advice as every single year, I plod through, only taking two or three days at the most jump right back in. After Googling a bit I found that as long as illness was from the neck, exercise can be done but intensity should be scaled back. I knew that as well, however I was just beginning to get some asthma symptoms, which also unless really bad, I work through as well, with the help of inhalers. Mulling over research and what the doctor said for few hours, I decided to comply with his prescription and here’s why.
- Every year there is always a setback – as I thought about these annual trips to the doctor I realized that within a month there was always a relapse, resulting the extension of antibiotics and the addition of an oral steroid. Every single year. Maybe if I had halted the exercise, I could have avoided the additional trip and additional meds.
- I’ve had a lot injuries during the last year, achilles strain, shin splints, ongoing knee and shoulder pain with the latest injury being a literal pain in the ass. The pain was getting worse as I continued to push.
- It was time to end my paranoia. As a person who’s had weight issues for 30 years, stopping training for more than a few days always lead to my mind playing tricks on me in the form of “you know if you miss these days (not years) you are going to be that unhealthy person again.” Which is ridiculous. All my critical numbers have been good for about five years now. The blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol were on point but the muscles, tendons and joints had taken a beatdown. Resting sounded like the best prescription to keep going for the long haul.
What does it all mean?
Though I’m not a competitive runner I do compete with myself. I continue to test the limits of my body. Funny thing is this self competition is in conflict with the reason I run and do other exercise. Moving the body, especially running (for me) is a spiritual practice. It’s a space and time in which I honor my body for the magnificent piece of work that it is. Running time is that time that my brain gets a rest. The tipping point had been reached at which the spiritual became the competitive, bordering on the obsessive. So I yielded to spirit instead of mind this time, in order to heal the body.
What about you? Are you chasing PR’s, pushing the heavy weights to exhaustion, always looking for the competitive edge? If so and you have lost the joy of whatever sport/fitness activity you engage in, take a little down time before you’re forced to.
I’d like to hear about your downtime. Was it a force out or purposeful? Tell me about it in the comments and until next time see you on the road, I’ll be back outside in another week :-)