We are told to suck it up. Fight through the burn. Embrace the pain. All things which are true and necessary when you need to make improvements…to a point. You may not think of yourself as a person to take this to extremes, but you can easily desensitize yourself to yourself.
Yeah. Crazy, right? Think about it though. You constantly struggle to make gains which means ignoring or bypassing that burning in your quads. It means you continue to run even when you feel out of breath. You see that you get better with your workouts, you’re feeling healthy. Then you plateau. Initial thought? You must need to push it even more. You need to go faster and lift heavier. Obviously, you’re slacking.
Wrong (at least in some instances)! You may have been fighting through it so much that you forgot how to listen to your body. That burning sensation is actually a muscle strain. The sensation of being out of breath is a respiratory system infection. Your inability to lift like you used to is a shout out from your joints to give them a break. When you mistake these signs as things you need to fight through in your workout, you’re asking for trouble. Injury, illness, poor recovery.
I’m not advising that everyone scale back on everything instantaneously. Knee jerk reactions aren’t necessary here. I just think we all need to exercise some serious thought about what our bodies are telling us. We’ve become so disconnected with our bodies because of what our peers, coaches, and the media may be telling us. None of these people know your body like you do…at least they should not. If someone else notices a limp before you even register the pain, shame on you. It isn’t cool to be that separated from the entity that provides you a connection to the physical world.
Spend some time getting to know how your body reacts to things. Get intimate with the signs your body sends you when it starts to speak. And also listen. If you’re a poor listener, you should at least know how to listen to your body.