Edited to add: Hey, guys! I thought that this was scheduled to post, but I’m a silly goose. Please accept my humble apologies, I know that you were on the edges of your seats waiting for it! And just to be a complainer, can we talk about the fact that it snows EVERY Saturday in Chicago???? Have a great weekend, my friends!
Verbal blitzkrieg time, folks!!
This week has been about mental survival for me. I have had other weeks that have pushed me far harder, physically. I have logged longer training hours, longer training miles (obviously), and more time at the restaurants that I have worked at. But for some reason, this week weighed a bit more heavily on me. Diet-wise, I am sure that I am eating sufficiently, and have even increased my guesstimated intake to make sure of this. I am taking my time to rest, and when my body has told me that I need to just be, I am doing my darnest to listen to it (thus Tuesday’s collapse on the couch, and other glorious days of biscuit-sitting). I would characterize this as an “active recovery” week: yes, I did exercise, but very much within reason, and not to excess with regards to time or exertion.
One of the greatest gifts of this week has been this respite from the restaurant; from being on my feet all the time, from constantly being cold. I’ve seen a number of articles recently about the effect of constant cold on the body, both from fellow bloggers as well as on CNN. I can’t attest to whether or not I am burning more calories by being cold (my take is that anything outside of your body’s comfortable range, be it cold or hot, will make you burn excess calories) but I can tell you that it is exhausting. Mentally, physically, emotionally, exhausting. If you think about it, when you are cold all the time, or hot all the time, your body never gets a rest. It is constantly at work trying to rectify the situation. Why do you think that you are only supposed to spend so long in saunas and cold rooms! AND WHY THE WINTER IS ONLY SUPPOSED TO LAST A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME? Right, Chicago??
We as athletes push our bodies to extremes on a regular basis: we run marathons, we do Body Pump, we try to bench multiples of our body weight. As go-getting individuals we constantly push our minds to extremes: trying to write quality blog posts every day, trying to keep 9 tables of diners happy at once, applying for jobs, writing up proposals and drafts and other things that people with real jobs do. We try to come up with fun, tasty, and satisfying meals, try to resist temptations, try to eat enough food to satisfy our needs. Try to satisfy the people in our lives. Grocery shopping, laundry… working out.
We compete with the people next to us for supremacy and bragging rights—simultaneously inspired and disgusted, both with them and with ourselves, by the amount they are able to accomplish. And, like a zit, it festers until we get to the point that we can’t even just BE anymore. We feel bad for “sitting on our biscuit” or we wear our nightly ice cream like a badge of triumph, even if it becomes a rote exercise.
Basically, what I am driving at is this:
Sometimes, we need a reboot. Or a boot to the a$$, if that works 😀 You know it wouldn’t be me without some sort of comment like that.
Monday night, after my final shift of the weekend, a coworker (who had worked very similar hours as myself) and I literally high-fived and cheered. We had made it. Monday was about survival. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like I had been hit by a ton of bricks. So I let my body tell me what it needed. And at that moment, it didn’t need a light recovery workout. It needed grocery shopping, blog organizing, lunch, and semi-sleep. And then it needed to move out in the fresh air. Finally, it needed to go to sleep at 9. I think I made it through half of Chopped, so 930. Wednesday, I needed to rebound. I woke up in a malaise, which continued all morning and into the afternoon (poor Alex). And then I needed a BOOT to the butt and to SNAP OUT OF IT YOU NINNY. Fresh air, a beer, real conversation about nothing at all with my husband and best friend, truly good news, warm cookies and cold gelato.
Sometimes, you need to let yourself fall apart so that you can put yourself back together.
The blue screen of death is there for a reason: you have overloaded the system, and you need to restart. Even Wikipedia knows this. (See “Screen of Death”). This is also why I switched to a Mac a long time ago. Though I am now back on Windows, dammit.
Mentally, I blue-screen-of-death-ed it this week. Maybe physically as well. I did a good job of re-engaging (woot wedding pics!) but now I need to debug. Because I can’t replace the mother board, buy a new computer, or switch operating systems. This is all I’ve got to run on. But if Windows is my OS, then that sure explains a lot of my defects (Crohns, depression, anxiety, allergies, hormonal deficiencies….).
So let’s see if I can reboot this puppy.
Other than running (duh), How do you reboot? Do you ever need a complete reboot, or do you generally accomplish equilibrium through constant and consistent letting off of steam?