When I was in fourth grade I got a horrible bee sting on my hand during recess. My hand puffed up and I was in a ton of pain. But regardless of the condition of my hand, I still played in a basketball game later that night. Why? My Dad.
“Walk it off, Robyn!”
There were several times in my childhood when I was exhausted from being over scheduled, suffering from intense cramps from my period or physically hurt for one reason or another and yet my dad would always be there, telling me to walk it off and push through the pain.
The no pain no gain mentality is still alive and going strong in fitspo (fitspiration) marketing; telling people to ignore their body’s signals and celebrating those that push themselves to go hard or go home. But encouraging the abandonment of listening to one’s body and placing one’s mind in the drivers seat with slogans like “the body does what the mind says” can eventually lead to problems.
The mind is what gets us into trouble. The body will never lie to you.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you think you should do something but your gut just says hell no? That’s called your intuition and it will never steer you wrong. We’re all born with this inner knowing, but as we grow older we move further and further away from trusting and listening to it. We become worried about what other people think and we become concerned that we won’t be the best if we don’t push ourselves past our limits. We become consumed with needing to reach a certain status or number. But eventually everything catches up with us, mentally, physically and emotionally.
Our intuition is never off even when it comes to exercise.
So what do you do when you FEEL Blah (tired, exhausted, weak and/or achy) and think you should still get your workout in? Do you push yourself to exercise, suck it up and get with the program?
For the majority of my life, that’s what I did. Not only because I was raised with this mentality but also because of fear.
The fears that I would gain weight, become flabby, lose strength and lose my hard-earned physical abilities were the primary motivators for not listening to my body and my intuition.
Today things look a lot different. Today my workouts happen when my body gives me the green light, not my mind. Today I understand that my body is always in flux and no two days ever feel the same, and that’s normal and more importantly, that’s OK. Today I understand that my body will never steer me wrong if I have the courage to listen to it and not to my fears.
Today, when I wake up on a morning I had planned to exercise and feel BLAH, I roll over and reset my alarm for later that morning because honoring my body by listening to my body is always the best decision. ALWAYS.