There I said it.
But I don’t feel any better, because I know how damn important they are. However, I still rarely take them. When people ask about my workout schedule or when I rest, I justify my routine and activities.
I actually consider soccer days my rest days. I say this because it NEVER feels like a workout. I love soccer, playing it almost always brings me joy and does not feel like a chore. My body would beg to differ because I’m usually extremely sore after, but my heart and mind don’t agree with my body.
I completely acknowledge these statements are a privilege.
This is kinda why I wanted to share this in my online space. Essentially to hold myself accountable to being smarter than my current self. I am fully aware that rest days help prevent injury, overtraining, and burnout, among other things. But, my stubborn nature seems to be annoyingly uncooperative.
Why do I believe the delusion that if I take one rest day, it will snowball into never working out again? Most likely, because it has happened before. I’ve taken on a day off and then I take the next day off, then a whole week has passed by. The week turns into a couple of weeks, then a couple of months. My workout mindset is very cyclical — eventually I get burned, bored, or exhausted and I stop working out for a prolonged amount of time. Sometimes it’s due to an injury and sometimes it’s due to a plethora of other reasons. However, I usually find my way back into the/a gym at some point. It’s been like this since college and won’t change until I get a grasp on enjoying rest days.
I know the importance of being healthy. I know the importance of eating healthy. I know the importance of setting myself up for success with and at the gym. I get all these things. But I’m also deathly afraid that one small rest day will turn me into a lazy, lethargic human.
Yeah, I know it won’t…
So it seems as if I’d rather turn myself into an extremely exhausted body versus take a rest day. So, here I am, professing to embrace the rest day. I’ve had tons of family and friends tell me this, and of course, I’ve batted them away. I’ve told myself, I have plenty of weight to lose and PRs to attain, so I can do what I want.
But as I approach my late 30s, I need to treat my body better. If I let this unstable mentality take precedent, my body will suffer, as will my mental health too. It’s all related, no matter how much I pretend it’s not. I need to remind my Ego that a rest day is not evil or bad, instead, I need to give it the same enthusiasm as I do a workout.
I am definitely trying not to judge myself for working on my individual development when it comes to how I approach rest days. It’s definitely something I have to work on embracing. Just as it is with yoga, journaling, and sitting with myself to truly understand how I feel about certain things. All things I continue to work on with the guidance of my therapist.
I seem to bring a lot of my posts back to therapy lately. I continue to share this because I want people to know the work, physical AND mental, that goes into trying to live my life the way I want too — open, honest, and authentic. I ignored my personal wellness and mental health for so long that I now am working very hard and diligently to never let that happen again. I hope it shows that no matter what age, background, or circumstance, we can all work toward a higher self-awareness and growth. Even if it is as simple as embracing rest days in your training.
I think my first step will be to transition from no rest days to active rest days, where I focus on yin yoga or long walks. I think these will be great transitional activities to eventually embracing true rest days. Rest days look different to everyone and I think each person should listen to their own body, not what anyone else says…besides your doctor, of course. Family and friends inevitably have an opinion on what and when you do things. It’s REALLY important to listen to your own body, you know it best!
You know you have a problem when taking a rest day takes more discipline than working out.