A Little Note on Listening to Our Bodies
I’d like to think that I listen to my body pretty closely and pretty well — I mean, by whole brand is based off of listening to my body and finding balance after all.
But for the most part, I am as guilty as anyone else when it comes to pushing myself too hard and trying to do things that I just know won’t be the best for me in the end.
Saying yes to every vacation and work trip and weekend away and workout and yoga class and writing opp and blog event and 300-hr teacher training? YEP.
Tricking myself into thinking that a week in New York followed by a week in Hawaii followed immediately by a weekend in Nor Cal and then a 5 hour drive back to Nor Cal in like 8 days is a good idea and my sensitive body will be tooootallly fine with it? YEP.
See, here’s the thing. It’s okay to push ourselves. It’s GOOD to push ourselves and challenge our bodies and minds to do things outside of our comfort zones.
(Like my MOM launching her over-45 fashion blog today — check it out! So far outside of her comfort zone and it’s incredible.)
But what isn’t good is challenging ourselves to the point of exhaustion and pushing TOO hard so that we aren’t actually able to grow and expand (and recoup) in the ways that we need to.
How this topic fits into my life right now…
Well, guys, I did something this weekend I have never done before. I opted out of a half marathon that I signed up for — that I was probably more than prepared to run, alongside so many of my friends in the gorgeous bay of Monterey… because I simply did not have space for it.
Emotionally, physically, mentally — I straight up didn’t have space for any of it. And I have NEVER had that experience in my life. I have always been the person to sign up for a race on a whim and run it the next day, with or without training.
This time around, I really didn’t make time to train. I’ve been in teacher training and traveling like no other, and every time I thought I was going to go for a training run… I opted for a yoga class instead. I haven’t even been running on the treadmill much like I usually do several days a week!
And regardless of knowing that my body could do it if I decided to go out there and make it happen, I know what it feels like to run a race that you haven’t trained for. After running the LA Marathon this year and a couple of halves since then… I now know what it’s like to run something I have trained majorly well for — it is WAY more enjoyable and the accomplishment feels so much more deserved.
Plus, with all of the goals I have for myself right now I can’t lie and say I wasn’t worried about being down for the count this week if I just ran it anyway. My legs, feet and ankles can get a little strained when I run far without training, and I am teaching my first yoga class at So Cal Hot Yoga tonight (YAY!) ANNNDD trying to really buckle down with working on my book proposal and a bunch of other projects this week. And photo shoots and the usual!
So yeah. Guess what? I listened to my body, my mind and my soul on this one… and I’m glad I did, but it WASN’T EASY.
It was actually really hard and I had a lot of FOMO (CC Kristine). I still took the trip up to Monterey with my friends and dabbled with the idea of running it all weekend… even though deep down I knew I had already made my decision to sit it out.
Stretching Alexi out pre-race! <3
Showing up to cheer my friends on was a blast, especially because so many of them (specifically my BFF Alexi and my marathon pacer / also BFF Jonathan AND my boos Hannah and Tamara for their first ever half) have been so, so, so supportive of my running journey and in every aspect of my life it felt good to get out there and give them the love the cheering on that they deserve.
But it was also sad, because I freaking love the race experience, the jitters beforehand, the euphoria of crossing the finish line, the delirious aftermath of being sweaty and tired and in awe and like holy shit I just did this… and watching it firsthand with every single finisher around me was kind of sad, because I knew I could have had that if I’d just done it!
BUT as my dear friend Danika reminded me yesterday when I told her that I was having a hard time after not doing it: “You can’t do everything, my love. I’m still proud of you.”
^^^^^^^^ That. That was everything.
It was a good reminder that we truly CANNOT do everything, and I felt like listening to the little voice inside of me that was telling me not to run this half was the least I could do for my body after all the pushing and challenging I normally do.
As you’ll learn in my latest podcast episode with Sophie Jaffe, low intensity workouts have been my jam lately. And I truly believe it’s because my LIFE has never been more high intensity than it is right now… from all areas. So one key place where I can listen to my body is the way I MOVE it… and I do strongly feel that I made the right decision this weekend to keep it chill.
Go Lex & Han!
That being said… WHO’S IN FOR A HALF MARATHON THIS SPRING??? Lol. Seriously though, I plan to sign up for one when my teacher training is over and give it my all, because if one thing sitting out of the Monterey Half taught me (other than listening to my body) is that running truly is a meditation and an exhilaration for me, and I had way more FOMO than I thought I would.
It’s all about finding the right time and making sure our choices always serve our bodies. If you’ve ever been in a similar position, I hope that even if the decision to listen to your body was a difficult one, it felt worth it to you.
I know for me it was worth it in the end when my friends who have FAR less sensitive bodies than me started having the normal post-race digestion issues, sore muscles, crampy bodies, nauseous tummies, you know the drill. That’s when I was like okay, I made the right decision.
Those are the kinds of things I just don’t have mental and physical space for right now — and I knew would happen to me because they always do with my sensitive body.
Anyone else ever been in that position?! I’d love to hear if so. Listening to our bodies is the way to go… even when it’s hard to do!