Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Subtle Voices of the Body

I try hard to be in tune with my body. To listen to it and respond to the often subtle messages that it sends me.

Like the little signals that tell me that my iron is on the low side. Or the little twinges in my arches that tell me that my shins are going to start acting up. 

And don't forget all the little signals that tell me that my sugar is low. Is falling. Is high. Is climbing. Is holding steady. Is dancing the tango. Whatever. 

If you listen - your body will talk to you. 

That's why it's interesting to try to decide when to listen and when not to listen to what it's saying. 

Anything to do with blood sugar - I listen. 
Anything to do with sharp pains or nasty aches - I listen. 

Anything to do with whiny, I don't want to work out I just want to sit on the couch - I ignore it. 

When it comes to fatigue - I don't usually pay that much attention. I have learned that, no matter how tired I feel before a swim or before a run, I usually feel better a few minutes into the activity. So I just push myself to start and push through the first few uncomfortable minutes and then forget that I was even tired. 

Sometimes though - the fatigue feels different. 

And I listen. 

Wednesday morning at 4:55am. The alarm went off. I was supposed to swim. It was also the first day of my period which usually means I feel awful when I get up, when I get dressed, when I drive to the pool and when I slip into the water. I feel awful during the warm up but then, once we start sprinting around the pool, I am too busy working hard to feel awful and, once the workout is over, I no longer feel awful. 

Swimming is usually the perfect cure to cramps and period headaches so I force myself to go no matter how awful I feel. 

Wednesday morning at 4:55am the alarm went off. And I turned it off. Because there was something about the level of fatigue I felt, and have been feeling all week, that told me that I should sleep until 6:30am instead of going to the pool. 

I would normally agonize for a few minutes and then crawl out of bed anyway. This time I reset the alarm, whispered to Doug that I was staying home, and fell back to sleep for another hour and a half. I didn't feel any guilt whatsoever and didn't regret the decision at any point during the day. Instead, I was grateful that I had listened and the extra rest helped me get through the 5-hour meeting I had to run. And my post-work massage. And my evening of photo-editing from the wedding Doug and I photographed last weekend.

I am glad I listened.

And I will be in the pool on Friday morning - raring to go!

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes it is SO hard to know if it's that special level of fatigue, or just my mind playing tricks on me. I think learning to interpret those signals is a learned skill that I still need a lot of practice on.