What do you do when your mind says go and your body says no? How do you continue to keep the fire of will lit while your body isn’t cooperating? Differing circumstances many times lead to the same questions. Maybe it’s serious physical injury or maybe it’s just little nagging ones which are interfering with what needs to get done. Maybe you’ve got uncontrollable life-circumstances or maybe your fighting burnout. Either way the question remains: what do you do when your mind says go and your body says no? Sure there’s a part of us that wants to fight back, but the wiser side whispers let it be. Then there’s a part of us which simply waves the white flag, but the warrior side steps in and declares the battle is not done! So which is it? What do I choose? Fight or respite?
Truthfully it’s both.
Fight and fight well in the areas that you can. You’ve been put on Plan B, attack it as if you were on Plan A. You’ve been bumped to Plan C, make every rep, no matter the speed or strength, count for something. Your body continues to make it’s own rules in life and limits you to non-activity and a myriad of therapy modalities, well then you take the most gosh darn relaxing epsom salt bath you’ve ever taken! You show your body that if it’s not willing to cooperate then you are going to kill it with kindness…
Which leads me to respite. When all is said and done, there’s a wisdom that comes with age (most likely due to predisposition your body takes to plan B) and you realize that rest is just as essential to the fight and fire of will. Knowing that rest is actually allowing for healing grants you the ability to let go of anxiety or fear of not accomplishing all that you thought you should be doing.
The past week or so I’ve been battling a bit of a strain in my quad muscle. Nothing crazy major, but enough that it has limited much of what I’ve been able to accomplish on the track. Today was the best feeling day since it happened last week. And while I was feeling better, we decided that another day of pretty light load was the best option: a walking warm up, mobility work, and some body building in the gym. To be honest, I’ve been in a pretty good place with the whole situation (due to my obvious growth in wisdom and maturity this year) until the moment during my warm up when I looked left and tweaked my neck. Seriously? I looked left. What’s happening to me??
So now I’m entering the gym on an already modified workout and having to revise/simplify the plan again. It was towards the end of the workout during my last two exercises, hamstring curls and toe risers, when I actually thought about just being done. My neck was hurting and my will was fading. I thought, “What’s the point? You’ve pretty much done nothing today so is there truly a need to finish?” But it was here that the fighter side weighed in. It said, “You may not have done much today, but you are going to finish and finish strong. None of this going through the motions stuff. Your neck has nothing to do with your hamstrings or calves. Work what you can, and work it good.” I think it was more about the attitude brought to the exercise than the exercise itself. It was about not being defeated. It was about finishing the little things strong. So I fought. I fought for those few small repetitions. And five minutes later I entered the respite knowing I had fought the fight.
I walked over and laid on the mat. I spent a few minutes thanking the Lord for a body that still trains (even if that training is modified). I thanked Him for placing me in an environment that creates Plan B’s and Plan C’s and Plan Z’s if need be. I thanked Him for the ability to seek out answers to why my muscles seem to be twingy lately. I thanked Him for the cooler weather. And I thanked Him for the rest of the day that lay ahead of me. Here is where I find my respite. In Him.
So what do you do when your mind says go and your body says no?
You make room for the necessary recovery while fueling the fire within by fighting for the little things.