‘Tis the season, not of good will, but of cold and flu. Yes, it is true. Despite the best efforts to improve physical health, the athlete can be felled by organisms invisible to the naked eye.
Sadly, I am one of the victims. Not long ago, I found myself feeling a bit like death would be preferable to the sorry state in which I found myself. I survived the plague. At least that is the medical consensus. However, despite my alleged recovery from all the more active symptoms of illness, it seems my body and spirit requires more recovery time. I don’t bounce back from injuries and illnesses the way I used to do.
The truth is that I was angry; angry that illness had disrupted routine that I have taken months to create, angry that the unscheduled break had potentially undone all the work on increasing endurance and speed. I was also worried. I know myself well enough that I was concerned that I would go back to some nasty old habits of any excuse to avoid a workout.
Prior to my attempt to reenter the world of workouts, I reached out to my support network. Yes, I have one of those. Not one of the places where we only go by first names or bare our souls to each other. These guys are the ones that give me ideas, help me modify various workouts to avoid injury to my no longer young joints. They are the ones that I went to when the plague was being insidious about derailing my new lifestyle of physical activity.
What was most valuable was that all of my friends told me to take it easy. I was going to have to learn to walk again before I started to fly. I needed to give myself a break and take things slow if I didn’t want to cause myself injuries or set backs. So, they told me:
- Slow my run time
- Decrease my run duration
- Decrease my weights
- Take it easy on the reps
- Stay well hydrated
- Rest days in between for a while
Well, in truth, I’ve stumbled a bit on my path back to the gym. I did manage to get my sorry self back to the gym. It is frustrating. Actually, it is a few mega-levels beyond frustrating. The part that makes it so maddening is that all of the difficulty and struggle and lack of elasticity in my physical bounce back is that it is one more fact in evidence that I am not so young as I used to be. Ooooh that stings.
Anyhow, my muscles ache again. My endurance officially sucks. My knees remind me that it’s been a while since I ran more than the few steps to the necessary room. However, I’m back at it. I have faith that my muscles and joints will eventually forgive me for my momentary lapse and will start responding in a more appropriate manner. For now, it seems, I am back from the dead.