Posted by: barbaraplatts | May 27, 2011

Pushing it too far

I started my summer internship at Trail Runner Magazine in Carbondale, Colorado a couple of weeks ago. The atmosphere and the people are great. I am constantly encouraged to go on a run or work out during my lunch break. My co-workers all enjoy the outdoors and love staying active, and as much as both of those values have always been important to me, I have never before found a job that allows me to incorporate them into my day to day tasks.

I have started Crossfit training, which is a combination weightlifting, aerobic exercise, and gymnastics (more detailed post about Crossfit to come). The starting foundations course I took for this type of workout was three times a week for two weeks, leaving me sore to the point where walking down stairs and putting on jackets was challenging. On the days I wasn’t at Crossfit, I was hiking, biking, or running, trying my best to stay in aerobic shape for my next trail race.

Needless to say, I have been pushing my body to and past its limit in the last 14 days, which has landed me in hot tubs, baths full of ice, and even in the back of my car for quick naps midday. My muscles were so exhausted after one Crossfit session that my whole body couldn’t stop shaking for about an hour. And now, in two days, I have my longest race yet, 13.1 miles. With my quadriceps (and just about every other muscle in my body) in a fair amount of pain, I am worried about how I will do in this trail race. However, one thing is for sure, I will spend the better half of next week sleeping and avoiding the gym…or at least that it the plan.

I wrote this post for a few reasons, number one, because sometimes it is just nice to be able to vent in a somewhat public setting. Another reason is because it brings up a topic that I think many in our country forget about: exercise addiction. We always see exercise as such a good activity, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Though this topic is for another post at another time.

And the other reason I chose to bring up this topic is to offer a bit of advice: treat your body the way it deserves to be treated. Resting and eating well are vitally important in order to maintain health and reduce chances of injury or illness. As college students, we tend to have idealistic thoughts of what we can accomplish. We almost live outside of our body, thinking of it as an afterthought, something that will just follow in suit for as long as we want/need it to. Our bodies tend to be good sports, putting up with the large doses of caffeine, junk food, and whatever else we put into it on a daily basis, but these habits do catch up with you eventually and often land you in bed, wasting several days in exchange for those all nighters. So just listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs…and yes, I am aware that I should start taking my own advice…

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