Yes, it is OK to Take a Break!

I am not what many would call a smart man, at least in some areas of life.  For example, I don’t understand why anyone would need more than one fork or spoon when eating dinner.  As long as you have one of each, you can eat anything on your plate.  

I also used to get in trouble, long ago, for not cutting my meat with my right hand, then putting down the knife, and then placing the fork in my right hand to stab the meat, and then put it in my mouth.  Seemed MUCH more efficient to hold the knife and fork in different hands and use them that way!.  When I am hungry I want to eat.

I don’t get why Levi 501s are not appropriate attire anywhere you need to go.  Shoot, get a pair of black ones, and that should be good for weddings, funerals, corporate functions, the works.

So in all these areas I freely admit I am not the sharpest tack on the cork board.  

There is one additional area in which I lack common sense sometimes: admitting that it’s time to let this body of mine recover.  

In the past, I have pushed myself farther than I should have.  I once spent an entire softball season (Team Chaos) with a sprained ankle.  I injured it early in the season playing second base.  In fact, I rolled it once, felt a pop, and decided how bad could it be…  Then REALLY hurt it a couple of at bats later.  Bad enough for an ER visit! 

I gave it a week, bought  brace and kept playing…  6 weeks later, the end of the season finally hit.  After 2 weeks of not playing, I was back to normal.  I could have skipped 2 weeks worth of games.

Once, back in the day, we were playing broom hockey, I slipped and fell, and took out a guy who ended up sitting HARD on my head! ( Helmets you say?  Nah, those are for sissies!)  After catching my breath, I went right back to playing.   While being driven home, I asked my ex, “Am I supposed to be seeing double when I try to read a license plate?”  Yep you guessed it, another visit to the ER room, and yep a mild concussion.   I could have sat out the rest of the game.

Or the time during the Wife Beater Softball Game (ok actually it was a fund-raiser against domestic violence.  I called it the Wife beater game to help with donations.  When I started with “This is a fund-raiser for Domestic Violence”  People walked away before I could get as far as asking for money, but when I called it the Wife Beater game, people laughed and at least listened, but I digress)

During that game, I played short stop.  a hot grounder took a wild hop and took me RIGHT in the mouth!.  Yep, once again, ER room where I was declared fit to play, so back I went for the last game!   Of course the 4-year-old would yell every time I went out to the field “DON’T GET HIT IN THE MOUTH AGAIN DAD!”  Thanks kid.

So why am I telling these stories?  Well, its like this.  Even though I am the first to tell someone else to sit out, rest, skip a play or even a game or two, I consider it a sign of personal weakness when I do it.   Anyone who read my blog last week saw I did a century, in almost 90 degree weather Sunday, and then bike commuted Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  By friday morning just walking from the lunchroom on 5 to my desk on 7 with a cup of tea was leaving me winded.  

Mentally I was fired as well.  I was tired, and having trouble concentrating.  Not good.  All because and I stubborn and don’t want to admit weakness.  Now this a great trait when you are 75 miles into a century ride  or 150 miles into a double century.  Your body can tell you, “Shut it down son, we’re shot.”  But if you are stubborn, you mind and overrule the legs and keep you going.  But for day to day training, to much of it can be a bad thing.

Luckily for me, two things were in my favor this last weekend.  First off, my wife keeps an eye on me and will flat tell me, time for a break!  She knows he stuff, so I try to listen.  The other was the trip to Walla Walla.  No bike to ride.  Time to sleep, walk slowly around town, refuel with good food and good wine, and let the legs recover.  Without these two things, I am sure I would have ridden at least 50 last weekend.

Yesterday was to be my commute home day from work.  But the youngest asked me to come visit last night instead of tonight.  This gave me one more rest day (and avoided biking home in a thunder storm!)  I will tell you, every part of my body feels SO much better.  I can without a doubt attribute this to the 4 days of no exercise.  

In my mind, I understand taking a break like this is a good thing, but in my gut it still feels like I am wussing out.  But then, like I said, I am not the sharpest tool in the drawer. 

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