Believe

So says the t-shirt the lovely Sarah Wells gave me. It’s part of her new line up of clothing that will hit Winners Retailers across Canada later this spring. Super pumped for my friend and Toronto Track Teammate for what is to come for her. And it was a great reminder for me after a challenging week.

IMG_9587Some of you saw that I collapsed at the Hoka One One MDC 1500m Friday May 20th. It was my 2016 opening 1500, I was in the mix, feeling great, and about to make my move to finish when all of a sudden it felt like my legs wouldn’t anymore. Not in that musculature kind of fatigue way, but neurologically like I was losing control. To say the least it really scared me and shook me to the core.

The week has been challenging, filled with ups and downs of feeling better and all of a sudden being smashed by a migraine headache again. It has reminded me of one of my principles of training: always listen to your body.

Your Body is a Temple
Well it is and it isn’t, but your body always knows what is best for you when you really sit back and listen to it. But you really have to listen to what it is saying. I have written a few blogs about respecting your body, listening to injuries, rest to get fitter, and now I’m living my words.

Am I afraid of losing fitness? Absolutely not; it’s not like the fitness fairy comes along at night and takes it away. Now if I have to sit still for a year, sure I’ll lose some fitness, but way less than what you might think. I believe that there is a misconception around taking a break and fitness loss (I’ll leave that for another blog and some research).

My body knows what it wants and needs right now and I’m listening. I can feel the cues when things improve and when I have a set back. I am listening so that when I do jump back into training I know my body and mind are ready to go.

There is no such thing as making up training
I have been sitting still for days, and like many athletes I find sitting still somewhere between challenging and almost impossible. My body constantly wants to be in motion, it craves the endorphins from working out. And every time I think about taking some strides I think about how many steps backward I would take.

The only way for our bodies to heal is through rest. Acute injury or onset fatigue the only way for our bodies to get healthy again is to sit still and let the magic inside work. And no, cross-training is not resting (see that word ‘training’ in there!)

Like I said above I think there is a total misconception around loss of fitness when you take a break. Don’t try to ‘train through’ an injury. Don’t do extra because you missed a few days. Be in the now, be mindful, and keep working toward your goals.

 I’ll just train through this
Been there, done that. It’s useless. All you do is delay the healing, delay the inevitable break you have to take (and usually increase the length of break you need to take), and make yourself miserable while doing it. I mentioned it above in Making up Training but it deserves it’s own section … since I’ve seen far too many people post on social media lately about trying to train through their injuries.

And while all other injuries I have seen lately are not related to head trauma, I promise you that training through your injury still doesn’t work. With head stuff I guess it makes it a bit easier, can you imagine trying to do hard efforts while your head feels like it might explode?! No thank you, I’ll sit here with my book, Justin Cronin’s finale of The Passage series and let my nerves and muscles settle down.

Back to belief. I believe in what I’m doing. I believe in listening to my body. I believe in process. I believe in listening to the science and adding my individual flavour of art to the healing process. I am not magical and cannot escape the bounds of what is happening physiologically. I believe in my team that is helping me heal. And I believe (and know) I’ll be back out there striding around those track corners in no time.