How to rest and recover from life

Recognising the toll life takes as a first step to recovery

Happy Sunday and thanks for opening this week’s story from #TheLifeofJLOWE. Happy Easter to all those who celebrate as well! 🐣

Last week, I tackled the question “Is manifestation real?” to introduce the concept of defining your problems as a means to solving them. The quote that we ended with was:

“A problem well-stated is a problem half solved.”

Charles Kettering

This week, that thought crossed my mind again, when I booked a flight back home, I realized that “hey, maybe the constant thought of me wanting to go back home is what homesickness feels like… maybe?

Anyways, problem solved as of today. I’m home and happy 😄 .

The After-Effects of the Marathon

If you’re a real one and follow me on Strava, you’d know that post-marathon recovery hasn’t exactly been the easy road that I imagined it would be. I lost 5 toenails (3 on one foot, and 2 on the other - although nobody asked), and haven’t run more than 5 miles in one go since those grueling 26.2.

I know for a fact I didn’t do a great job at active recovery after the marathon, and that was primarily because I scheduled an exam for the week after so I was busting my ass to study for it 🫠 , but I feel like those miles took a toll on my body that I’m only just now reaching full recovery from.

In the weeks after the marathon when I felt like a bum going from 100 to 0 in terms of training and losing a lot of the fitness that I built up, I really began to question what I was feeling.

Why had I suddenly lost all the motivation that I once had in the months and weeks leading up to running the marathon? 🤔🥱

The Mental Battle of a Slump

It was a real mental hit more than anything for me. It was a complete change in lifestyle, a change in how I felt in my body, and of course a change in my daily schedule and how I was allotting my time.

And I started to beat myself up for it, mentally.

I tried to push myself to get back into the gym, and when I did go (twice in a row actually - a valiant effort if I do say so myself), it was tiring and I felt like I was trying to exert an already overexerted body. There were times when I would try to run, set a goal of 5 miles, get to 2 miles and then have to push myself REALLY hard just to be able to finish 3.

“Didn’t I just run a marathon?”, I’d ask myself.

I’m capable!

This should be easy for me! 😡🤬

Recognise when you went through something, mentally or physically

And then it hit me.

“Yes, exactly!”

I DID just run a marathon. 

That’s not the kind of thing that you just get up from and get back into the gym and training routine like it didn’t happen. Of course, some people do it, and I even have a friend that did (Idk how but he’s a beast 🏋🏻), but even that is part of the lesson here. 👉🏼

Just because someone else does, doesn’t mean you have to. ☝🏼

And it’s okay to take the time to listen to your body, to recover at your own pace and get back into the swing of things when you feel 100% again.

So the issue isn’t that I’m not capable anymore. And it never was.

The problem here that I’ve defined is that my body needed more time to recover fully after my first marathon. And mentally allowing myself the grace to rest and recover is the lesson that I’ve learnt from this. 

I’ve never done something as physically exerting as a marathon, so why should I treat it as if it was just another walk in the park?

Conclusion

In reality, the challenge you face or toll that’s taken on you doesn’t have to be from a marathon. It doesn’t even have to be something physical or fitness-related. 

A few months ago, I wrote about this concept of “framing your diploma” and giving yourself the flowers when you deserve them. For me, part of those flowers after running a marathon is the grace and time to rest. 💐

But maybe you just passed a midterm or final exam. Maybe you just got your driver’s license. Maybe you just finished your application and interviews for a new job or maybe you just graduated from school. Maybe you just had a bad week or even just a single bad day.

Whatever it is that you do in life, remember that things can take a toll on us, whether mentally, physically or both, and we may not even realize it. Recognising that toll on your body and/or mind, acknowledging it and giving yourself the space to heal from it is one of the most important lessons in self-care that I’ve learnt this year. 

Heal, then get back to it. Recover, and find your way back to yourself.

Take care of yourself. You’re the only one of you that we’ve got. 😉 

Until next Sunday,
Justin

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