Recovery is as essential to building strength as the ability to push yourself beyond your limits. It’s true whether we are talking about fitness, knowledge, job skills, relationship building, or really any other area of life you look at. There are times to push beyond comfort zones and then there are times to let those new limits set in. Pushing your capacity in fitness means you are breaking down muscle tissue and in order to get stronger you have to let that same muscles tissue you broke down repair itself into stronger tissue. When it comes to knowledge, as you study, read, and listen, there are periods of time when you have to set aside the book and let the new information sink in and the neurological pathways develop.
Within each week of physical training we have built in recovery days (one active recovery, one complete rest). And within each cycle of training (groupings of weeks) we have specific recovery weeks where the load is lessened not just for a day but for an entire week. These are specifically placed to optimize recovery. To let the muscles heal and the new limits set in. Every person is different and the amount of recovery needed will vary, but one commonality remains, we ALL need recovery. Figuring out what your needs are will take some experimenting, and may even change over time, but you will never know how to effectively recover until you try.
I just wanted to encourage you, as you have probably set up new years goals, whether they be to learn a new skill, become more active, read more books… to make sure that with the new systems you are putting into practice, you allow yourself time to recover physically, emotionally, spiritually. Be intentional. Rest that is not implemented intentionally, will soon enough be implemented forcefully, whether by injury or by burnout. There will be times you feel like you need a recovery day more than anything else in the world and there will be times when you feel like you could go another 3 months without break… In both cases, intentionally choose recovery. Longevity requires it.
Last recovery day, my body was feeling pretty good, but my soul was in a bit of turmoil… so instead of opting to do a light day on the track, I took myself to the back country for a few hours of hiking. More than my muscles needed recovery, my heart needed it; and for me there is something so healing about being in God’s creation. I’m not sure what part of your being needs rest, or what rest even looks like in your life for your person, but I do know that in such a busy “do more, be more” culture, you need recovery right now in some (if not all) areas of your life. Take a moment to inventory where you are at, then look at your calendar today and schedule some time for recovery in the next two weeks.
SOAR Intentionally today my friend.
(If you need to recover your soul, feel free to come enjoy my backyard…)