Fitness

Recovery Makes You Stronger

Spartan Race_James Olmos
Written by James Olmos

My toes jetted forward, curled and twisted as vicious cramps bit both my calves.  Recovery would only come through tapping out.

I was still recovering from my last obstacle course race (OCR) on Sunday but training for the Spartan Super began that next day on Monday. There is no downtime before entering the battlefield. Really?

I knew that I was out of shape; the 5K Spartan Sprint screamed those words at me for almost 2.5 hours during my battle against myself. I don’t know about you but I’m constantly competing against myself. I compete at work, with my OCR training, dieting, songwriting, photography, blogging and in the poetry of my daily existence. I’m always striving to excel and “do better”. This can be a blessing and a curse because finding a place of calm and recovery in one’s life is a necessity.

I even compete against myself in Yoga! Practicing Yoga is a time of centering and calm; 1.5 hours of releasing the negative and breathing in love. Not for me . . . most of the time I’m competing.

You know, I’ve discovered something: I found that my constant desire for achieving, without pause, hinders my success rate.

Why do we need pause in our life?

When we work our muscles, using resistance training, we need recovery time to give those muscles time to rest. It’s during this recovery time that our muscles, heal, grow and gain strength. In comparison, our mind, body and soul need rest and recovery too. This is where I fail . . . it’s go-go-go for me, when it should be go-rest-go (rest-go! Sounds like Scooby-Do). There’s a definitive reason in me for this type of behavior but that’s for another blog post.

Why do I write about this newly found, competitive insight of recovery?

This insight is what I’ve learned during my 2 months of OCR training and at the end of my second Spartan race. Recovery makes you stronger and there is rest before the battle.  When we keep pushing and as an overachiever then we miss the moments.  We miss so many moments . . . We’re deceived by our own success because we haven’t paused long enough to allow our presence to speak.  What I mean is that there is strength in life’s pause and your success rate will increase as you recognize where you really are within your existence.  Because when your eyes are open to this fact then you’ll understand that the faster you run the more moments you’ll miss to recover.

Recovery_Spartan Race_HealthRecovery can be found in holding your child; giving a glass of water to someone who’s thirsty; listening instead of talking; encouraging instead of demanding.  Choose your recovery.

In what ways do you take time to heal?

Recovery can be slow or it can come quickly. It depends on the severity of your injury. Additionally, we need to find the cause of our injury so that we can prevent it in the future.  What is your “injury” and how were you injured? Is your injury emotional, physical, or spiritual? Pain runs deep. Sometimes it’s too deep to realize and other times the pain is blatant and crippling.

Recovery could mean downtime, downtime means stillness, stillness means reflection, reflection leads to discovery. If you choose this journey then you have a better chance at recovering and increasing your success rate.

At the beginning of this blog I shared that, “I knew I was out of shape.”  I knew I was out of shape after I began the race . . . AFTER.  We need to take inventory of our life’s mental, physical and spiritual health before the race.  As we begin to pause and find silence . . . the voice speaks.  The closer we draw to what’s pure and good, the more we understand what healthy and in-shape truly looks like, the more we realize we are detrimentally out of shape.  This realization is frightening.  It’s like turning on the light of a hoarders’ bedroom and discovering the filth that derives from pain.

Again, what is your injury or your pain and how are you managing the pain?

Please listen to a song that I wrote titled, “We Run”, that shares a little about the essence of this blog post.  Or you may want to watch the video.

Pause, choose to recover and enjoy Life’s Moments ~

About the author

James Olmos

Songwriter, photographer, blogger, health advocating life lover over 40 who’s obsessively passionate about everything for 5 minutes! The Journey is afoot!

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James Olmos is the author & creator of The Indie Artist Blog. Visit his Music and Photography sites too!

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