When Your Body Fails You

body-injury-585When you’re not in a regular workout schedule, it can be hard to get into the groove and start a workout regimen. But when you’re a regular exerciser, it can be tough to take a break. This is usually a good thing, as the more you stick with a habit the more likely it is to become second nature and a part of your lifestyle. Unfortunately, my body has forced me on two recent occasions to take a break against my will.First, there was what I’ve diagnosed as a stress fracture in my foot. Whether it’s actually that or not, the fact is that walking began to hurt like crazy. As I noted previously, it’s not that I’ve over-trained or anything of that sort, it’s my poor choice of footwear that did it. And because I know I actually don’t have a major problem (trust me, I’m at the doc if I think anything’s remotely seriously wrong, as you’ll see in a second), I’ve just had to force myself to take it easy. This has included faithfully wearing supportive shoes, walking as my cardio, and keeping my feet firmly planted on the floor when doing high impact workouts. It’s hard to take intensity down a notch, but I was at least able to keep moving.

Until I came down with the 3-day migraine from hell. It started on a Tuesday night with the oh-so-fun auras that precede the headache. I went back and forth between the blinding auras and severe pain, making it pretty much impossible to work, let alone work out. When it wasn’t gone by Thursday morning and I was actually woken up from pain at 4:30 a.m., I started getting a little concerned. When it finally went away and I was back to my normal self (armed with drugs after a trip to the doc in case of a future episode), I was complaining to my hubby that I hadn’t worked out all week. He looked at me like I was crazy, and he was right. If I couldn’t manage to get out of bed or even sit at my desk for most of three days, how on earth was I supposed to put in more physical exertion? Lesson learned: Sometimes you have no choice but to give yourself a break.

So, while it’s commendable to push through mild soreness, fatigue and workout boredom, you must allow yourself a break, especially if you have a genuine issue, like the flu, a muscle pull, sprain, loss of limb or sanity.

Treat your body kindly; it appreciates it. —Erin

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  1. Erica says:

    I agree! It is so difficult for me to take a break when I don’t feel good! If I’m not scheduled to teach, I usually try to take the night off or at least do a very light workout vs. my usual routine. Its great to know others struggle with the same issues!

  2. tfh says:

    Oh, no! I’m so sorry for your forced break. It’s so true that once you’ve picked up the habit, it’s as hard to stop as it once was to start. But those migraines– you really can’t do anything with ’em, and sounds like yours are particularly bad. Hopefully your body got the rest it needed and will give you a break in return for the break you gave it!

  3. Jess says:

    Sorry to hear about your forced break. I know how much they suck after just coming off a knee injury!

  4. MizFit says:

    oh no!
    you poor thing.

    take care of your bod and if I can be of any help (?) let me know.


  5. Elizabeth says:

    Man, that blows. I totally know how you feel though–I am still trying to get back to a regular routine after catching strep throat while on vacation in Mexico (I know, sad story). My neighborhood had just gotten a gym two weeks before that and I went every single day. Since I got sick, I haven’t been once. I’ve been doing sporadic stuff at work, but once the routine was broken it literally broke. But, I keep trying to get back into the grove and remind myself that I’m only human… and sometimes that means we get stuck in bed for three weeks with a 103 fever 🙂

  6. Nitmos says:

    It is always amazing to me, as a runner, how various leg sorenesses immediately go away with a new pair of shoes. But never had a stress fracture. Good luck with that.

  7. Marcy says:

    Yikes!! You’re right, listening to the body is DEFINITELY key. It never lies :-/ (that’s our brain)

  8. Erin says:

    Glad to know I’m not alone! Luckily the foot is healing nicely thanks to supportive shoes and the migraines have stayed away. Knocking on wood…

  9. Missicat says:

    Ouch! Sorry to hear about your migraine..
    I hate being forced to take a break, but there are times when I simply have to. It does feel great when you are able to get back to working out,though!

  10. Jordan says:

    I use to get upset too when I couldn’t workout and I would feel so guilty. The way I see it is,I know I’m an avid runner and exercise queen and I will always workout. The only way I won’t is if I physically can’t. The body has a way of letting us know when enough is enough so whenever I’m feeling under the weather I listen and enjoy the brief down time because I know that I’ll be back out again soon enough. I have been fortunate where I’ve never had a stress fracture so I can’t imagine what that must be like for you. The important thing is to be good to your body and listen to it when it gives you signals of distress or discomfort.

  11. Lisa says:

    When running injuries sideline you, try swimming! I’m a big swimmer and I love it! Many times I’ve been injured and couldn’t run but I could always get in the pool. 🙂