We are well into our training cycle for the next meet, and our fearless leader is on a much deserved vacation this week. In the past, missing a whole week of training would completely freak me out. The importance of recovery, sleep, stress reduction and rest is part of the mantra at GYM Laird. Even though I rationally understand these principles, I freely admit I struggle to place them as a priority. I also sort of thought they didn’t really apply to me. I’ve never had a training injury (currently knocking on wood), and I’ve always been type A with lots of irons in the fire. Even though I haven’t had a major catastrophe from refusing to chill out, I did recently have an experience which has opened my eyes to the benefits of taking a break.
In the last two meets I have been red-lighted for depth on my squat, which is beyond annoying. Since the last meet I’ve been seeing our amazing in-house physical therapist for right hip mobility issues. She is also a strong believer in de-stressing; so much so, that she has actually made me take a nap during one of our therapy appointments. She recommended I take it easy, chillax, and deload, to which I reluctantly agreed. Luckily, the ginormous snowstorm happened and I was unable to leave the farm for days, let alone make it to the gym. Miracle of miracles, when I returned after a forced week off, my range of motion had dramatically improved and my squat is looking and feeling better.
Now, I have to admit, I didn’t truly relax the entire time I was stuck on the farm. I completely painted the kitchen, including the cabinets, as well as caught up on other house projects I hadn’t had time to get to. But the point is, I wasn’t in the gym, and nothing bad happened. Actually, I came back better, which is amazing. Perhaps this whole rest more thing really does apply to everyone. If you’re skeptical like I was, I’d encourage you to take some time off and try it for yourself. Although, in full disclosure, it took a blizzard of epic proportions to get me to do it.