When we get injured, it’s often easy to point to a specific cause, e.g., overtraining, speed without enough warm up, twisting your ankle on a rock. However, maybe those causes and the injuries are just the manifestation of deeper meanings.
Sometimes, your body, the universe, etc., sends you signals that you need to back off, not press so hard so quickly, or that your priorities are out of whack. Sometimes, we miss those early signals, or choose to ignore them. Perhaps, when you get sick or injured, that’s your body’s way of shouting, “PAY ATTENTION IDIOT. You didn’t listen earlier. Now I’m going to make you listen!”
Next time you get sick or injured in the middle of a training cycle, after your anger and frustration settles, take a deep breath, step back, and contemplate your whole life. Ask yourself:
- What else is going on in my life?
- What/who is really important?
- What/who have I been neglecting?
Then, before you get back to training, look for ways to rebalance your life, your priorities. Training, life, should be sustainable. There are times when it helps for life to get out of balance; e.g., when you have a child, finals week, very brief periods of training. However, running is just running, it’s not life (unless you’re a pro). In order to maintain a long term, sustainable, and healthy relationship with running, I think it’s important to keep it in perspective and life in balance.
So, before you get sidelined, step back, take a few deep breaths, see how running fits in your life – whether it’s in balance, or crowding out other important things. Listen for subtle messages before they start screaming at you.
Have fun. Train smart. Stay healthy.