LISTENING…does the body good.

During the second week of my 12-week training cycle I was pumped to start increasing the weight on the bar – I haven’t lifted really heavy since my last meet in December. My training schedule plan is Monday – deadlifts, Wednesday – bench, Friday – squats, Saturday – bench day 2. But as we know life isn’t always as neat as this and I knew I was going to be out of town Friday so I needed to reshuffle my scehdule: Monday – deadlifts, Wednesday – bench, Thursday – squat, Saturday – bench day 2. This should have been an easy shift, not too many training days in a row, nothing missed, some recovery time to get on track for my week 3 schedule.

And then BLAM! Thursday I woke up with a sinus-thingy. Not just a stuffy nose but full-on sinus inflammation, too. It HURT to put my sunglasses on when the first sun in days graced my face. UGH! But I thought “I can do squats with this – it’s just my nose.” I wasn’t ready for what followed: nausea and throbbing, sinus congestion. I fought it all day, trying to quell the voice inside that told me to shake it off and work through it. As I was driving home I was finally realistic with myself: squats – any exercise really – were a bad idea. So instead of going to the gym I went home, drank some AWESOME Ginger Honey Crystals, ate dinner and slept.

I was anxious when I woke up on Friday. It was Adventure Day with my sister and nieces (yes, they trumped squat day) and I didn’t want to be miserable – or worse, have to cancel – on our loosely planned adventure day. But the sinus congestion had gone and I was able to enjoy all the adventures – including stops at my favorite place in Minnesota: the North Shore of Lake Superior. It was a chilly day but the final gasps of a runny nose couldn’t stop me from enjoying it all.

Saturday morning came and I felt good. I went to the gym and squatted heavy, just like I intended to last week. I felt good and even if I still had some lingering sniffles I was feeling pretty good. A 6×3 at 245? In my second week of a 12-week cycle? I’ll take that. And I’ll credit my early Thursday night and restful adventurous Friday with helping me feel so much better by Saturday morning.

I was reminded while listening to a Barbells and Bonebroth podcast today (shout out to my coach, JVB from The Movement Minneapolis) that we actually build muscle while recovering so taking a day off when I’m not feeling it is like free muscle for the week (yea, I know that’s a stretch, but a girl’s gotta try). Listening to your body and heeding what it is telling you is always a good idea – and a lesson I will continue to practice.

What is remarkable about this is how often in life we don’t listen to our bodies and “just do it” or “git ‘er done” and don’t allow our bodies the chance to do what they do best: get and keep us healthy. And one of my goals for my training is to keep listening to my body so I stay healthy and get as strong as I can through this cycle – I have to start treating myself like the Athlete I am.


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