I’m not a moderate person. I could list thousands of examples, but I’ll shorten the list to my most recent failures:
Last week, I decided to pre-hab my ankle, which has been a tad sore ever since the Marine Corps Marathon. Which wouldn’t be a big deal, except that I sprained that ankle last December, and ended up needing a couple cortisone shots to finally knock down the inflammation. As I dutifully performed my towel pulls and toe taps last week, I thought: The great thing is, it’s impossible to overdo it with this kind of exercise! Impossible … unless you’re me. My feet were in excruciating post-workout pain all weekend. It takes a special kind of idiot to overdo it with foot-strengthening exercises, but it can be done.
On Monday, I took a lovely afternoon swim break at a county pool that happened to be close to my late-afternoon interview. It was great, except for the soundtrack of self-doubt running through my head. The internal debate focused on whether I can really afford the $250 registration fee for the 4.4-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge Swim when the 1-mile version of the race costs $60, and on whether, if I skipped the 4.4-miler, the 1-miler would just be a waste of time — go big or go home, right?
I know: wrong. I’m aware that I’m not the only amateur, middle-of-the-pack athlete to suffer from this affliction. I’m also aware that there’s nothing healthy about it. While my Type-A personality certainly helps when I’ve got a goal to achieve, it’s not so great on the flexibility front, which is a key piece of training.
So last night, when I woke up from an unplanned late-afternoon nap that could only mean an impending virus of some sort (I was the only kid who couldn’t sleep during siesta when I studied abroad in Italy), I decided to get better at moderation by practicing it. I’d really been looking forward to my group run with Pacers Silver Spring, especially considering it was a tough, hilly route — exactly the kind I’m trying to focus on to get ready for the National Marathon in March. I also thought about how I’d already taken a day off last Friday, and how a day off the following Tuesday could only mean … two days off in one week (gasp!). But for once, I listened to my body rather than the soundtrack of guilt and stayed home.
This morning, I woke up after having slept 16 hours — again, for an insomniac, this can only be a sign that something’s wrong. I also woke up with a twinge in my throat. I’m choosing to spend the day on the couch, working as I can, sleeping when I need to. Because my still-sore feet remind me that you don’t get extra brownie points for pushing yourself too hard.
In the “just what the doctor ordered” department: This morning, a freelancer-friend made me aware of the chance to win a trip to a spa-learning/networking opportunity for bloggers, freelancers and other entrepreneurs Feb. 1-3 at a fabulous resort in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Just thinking about relaxing at a spa and yapping with other freelancers makes my impending cold feel better, and makes me feel all moderate and stuff. Find out more, or enter yourself, here.
Does moderation come naturally for you? If not, how do you make sure you stay balanced and healthy?