“Recovery days are meditative days.”
There are few activities I find more difficult than forcing myself to do absolutely nothing.
I believe in recovery days. I just recently put in a hard and hill ridden 21.1k training run on Sunday. I have a half marathon event coming up in two weeks. But forcing myself into recovery mode brings forth an insanity I find difficult to keep at bay.
Doing nothing for me means watching Netflix, fiddling around with video or photo edits for hours on end with no clear goal in mind, or even catching up on reading one of the books I have been working through.
These all sound like pleasant activities, right? So then, why am I so filled with guilt every passing hour. I pace around the house as if an activity will jump out in front of me, ready to rescue my churning head of intrusive “need for productivity” thoughts.
So, should I fight it? That is a great debate to have. One school of thought states that there is growth in forcing yourself to chill out. However, the counter argument states that if activity is what the brain needs, then go with it. The later is a mentally peaceful solution. Who wants that much mental battle? Just go with it, get busy, right?
The Runners Code
Runners are an achievement oriented bunch. This is consistent with the devoted approach I have to my career. Years of grad school and career development have completely, and permanently, change my brain into a task eager monster!
I believe the answer must rest in how we channel the need for productivity. If I accept that my brain is always looking for something to check off as “complete,” in order to feel deserving of down-time, then maybe rest days need to have some for built-in achievable tasks.
I sometimes wish that I was more like my cat Bob. He finds peace in everything he does, and believe me, the only productive activity he participates in each day is filling a litter box!