Rest Days

I might be able to get behind this type of day on the couch 

I feel about rest days how most people feel about homelessness, racism, and child abuse.  That is to say, I abhor rest days and although I know that the body requires rest and often times my body is telling me to rest, I do not want to.  Not only do I not want to, but it actually requires effort on my part ot resist the temptation of going to the climbing gym, hopping on the bike, or heading out the front door for a quick run.  Sometimes it seems that resting takes more effort than going out.

For the last few years I have kept a calendar, then a journal, of my daily activities, chronicling every foot climbed, mile hiked, and mountain summited.  This year the journal has moved on-line. I am enjoying the updated technology; thanks to (my Movescount page), chronicling my daily activities has become even easier.  The negative effect of this is that rest days are very apparent, and the need to fill in the empty spaces on the calendar with activities can be overwhelming.  Worse than the need to merely fill in the calendar, is the occasional compulsion to fill two activities into one calendar space.  For example, a morning run combined with an afternoon at the climbing gym.  There is something incredibly satisfying about multiple entries in a single day.

What I feel like on rest days 

For as much pleasure gained from double entries into my journal, leaving days empty or marking them “REST” would torture me.  When I was journaling my activities,  I would fill in days that I did nothing simply as “REST” (it would kill me inside, especially if there were two in a row).  With the Movescount calendar, I am forced to face an empty box in the digital calendar, reminding me of the day’s unfulfilled potential.  While I am aware that rest itself can be as important as activity, I always feel like the unchecked box is a missed opportunity to get better, faster, or stronger.  Furthermore, while I was resting someone else was out there working on becoming better.

This past Sunday I took my first real rest day in months.  Normally my “rest” days come as the result of conflicts with my work schedule, social calendar, or family responsibilities…rarely is a “rest” day spent on just recuperating.  It was great!  I had been feeling the psych begin to slip the last week and, despite a few people reminding me to take it easy, I looked to capitalize on the nice weather, pushing myself to milk as many miles as my legs would take running and biking.  The day of couch surfing did just the trick as I woke up on Monday finding my legs feeling fresh and my psych restored.  I just need to keep reminding myself that despite the effort it takes to rest, and the irony that it requires effort to rest, I am going to focus a little more on rest days going forward.

A page from my first calendar, only four rest days…not too bad