Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Resting in peace

Not to worry — I'm still among the living! And feeling even more lively than usual, I might add.

I had planned to write today about mountain biking, but instead I'm going to write about ... slacking! I don't actually like that word, because I think it gets tossed around a little too casually.

You see, yesterday I woke up with every intention of going to the gym, was even looking forward to it, but then something unusual happened: I suddenly didn't feel like going. Now that might be the norm for a lot of people, but not for me — I'm someone who genuinely enjoys her time at the gym.

But when I looked out at that cloudless blue sky, I knew immediately that yesterday was to be a beach day, not a gym day. Maybe I felt so driven to go to the beach because we seem to have finally emerged from the monsoon season that was June. More likely, I think it was because as I get older, I try to be a better listener when my body is speaking.

I have a high energy level, which is usually a good thing, but can sometimes feel like a curse. I don't sit well for long periods, or sometimes even short periods. I like to be in motion — a lot. For me, relaxation is painting a room or building a patio.

So as I was driving along Route 1, on my way to East Beach in Charlestown, I found myself feeling slightly guilty about not going to the gym, and engaging in a sort of mental bargaining: I told myself I'd take a long, brisk walk on the beach, and that would be my exercise for the day.

But again, things didn't work out as planned. When I got there, I set up my chair in a nice little spot up against the beach grass, far away from most everyone else, and just sat. And I enjoyed it.

So was I slacking? I don't think so. I prefer to think of it as replenishing.

It's easy to be so driven in our pursuits or occupied by the demands of our daily lives that we neglect rest. It sounds counterintuitive, but rest and recovery periods should be key components of every exercise program. It's during rest that our bodies build and rebuild.

Yeah, replenishing — I like that term. Today I'm ready to hit the gym hard.

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