Well yeah, I know it’s not really failure, I can’t help being injured, but why is it always so hard to take a break?
After last Friday’s repeat episode of my back seizing up and my insistence on still running the Nike 10k a couple of days later I finally decided to take the advice of the all the people who’ve been looking at me sternly and shaking their heads for the last week and take a few days off. That’s off everything, even the Yoga to give my muscles a chance to heal properly without keep messing them around.
Honestly, the first 3 days weren’t too hard, but today is my first real challenge as I should be at Scrim practice tonight. I KNOW that people who have to be really gentle when they bend down to tie their laces should probably leave off the contact sports where people keep trying to hit them down to the ground. I KNOW this, but I still secretly want to skate, and I feel like I’m letting other people and myself down by not.
I KNOW that missing one week will mean I can come back stronger and fully recovered next week. So why is it so hard to do?
I’m sure that part of it is that, well, I like playing Roller Derby and I like running. A week without either is a depressing week unless I’m able to fill that hole with Cocktails and long lay ins, but even then I’d rather mix the two.
But there’s another side too. The side of my brain that’s telling me that all that hard work and training will be undone if I don’t practice for 2 weeks. That I’ll lose all those skills and those hard won fitness levels, especially after I struggled so much to build it back up since last year.
It’s the side of my brain that still thinks of myself as that girl who couldn’t keep running for a full minute, the bit of me that was terrified standing in the “under an hour” section with the “proper runners” at the Nike Women’s 10K, even though I’ve run 2 Half Marathons and can get close to that hour, even if I’m not quite there right this second.
That bit of my brain wants me to keep pushing, don’t admit that it hurts. The bit that tries to bully any niggles into recovery with foam rollers and stretching, rather than giving them a couple of days to rest. Because I don’t have time, if I’m not at practice and I’m not running then maybe I won’t be able to keep up next time.
Most people who take part in sport have a little bit of a competitive nature. Even if the only person they’re competing with is themselves. That little rush when you look at your watch near the end of a 5k and know that if you just push it for that last half mile you’ll hit a PB, the thrill of nailing a skill that you’ve struggled with for months or that feeling when you win a really close game by the skin of your teeth. But its dark side is knowing that a week off training could set you back. It’ll be like climbing up that hill all over again and so we do anything we can to avoid taking a break, thinking we can push through it.
So I’m being sensible. I’m taking that short break, and my Juneathon is to all intents and purposes over for another year (I swear it’s cursed).
Tonight I plan to have my first ever go at reffing scrim, no one hits you on purpose when you’re reffing, and next week I plan a slow return to exercise, but for now, it’s all hot water bottles, ibruprofen, and fighting the bit of my brain that’s telling me not to rest!