Mind vs. Body

When you feel like your body is giving out on you, sometimes it is really your mind telling your body it is tired or your can’t do it…Do you listen to your mind or your body when the going gets tough?

healthy body & mind

“It takes tremendous discipline, mental strength, and trust to make smart training decisions when dealing with an injury. You have to listen to what your body needs versus what your mind wants.”

~Carrie Cheadle

If there is a chance for injury, it is really important to listen to your body.  I’ve had to listen to my body recently as what started out as a niggle has turned into a more substantiated pain in my shin.  My pain tolerance is relatively high, and I would probably still be in a more serious training mode if I didn’t have Ironman Wisconsin just a short 10 months away.  I went to the doctor this last week and had x-rays done…no stress fractures or broken bones.  I have been prescribed two weeks of physical therapy and rest…what the doctor considers to be rest and what an endurance athlete considers to be rest are COMPLETELY different.

Carrie Cheadle couldn’t be more right…it has taken a great deal of “discipline, mental strength and smart training decisions” over the last week to focus on healing instead of pushing through the pain.  I’m sure it will continue to be a challenge for a few more weeks, but I am hopeful…hopeful that when I go to physical therapy on Monday, I’ll be allowed to start adding a few more things back into my training regimen.  Until then…discipline, mental strength and smart training decisions will have to be my new best friends…humph…

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11 thoughts on “Mind vs. Body

  1. I’ve been knocked out of running due to injury more times than I like to recall. What just killed me was seeing other people running along – tra la la – with no injuries, and also the fear that once out, I would not get back in again. Somehow, I have gotten past my knee troubles, thank goodness!

    1. I know I’m on the mend…with a week off, I’m already feeling better and excited for PT to tell me I can start cycling and swimming again. The worst is when the Iron Hippie comes home from a run and says, “You would have loved that run! It is perfect running weather out there.” Oh well…this too shall pass 😉

      1. Yes! It’s especially frustrating when it’s your spouse out there running – tra la la! Speedy mending, Kecia!

  2. This is a tough one… Running, I had to pay a little more attention. With cycling, I look for a mechanical issue first (saddle height, saddle position, cleats, etc.) and then tell my body to shut it because I’m the boss. I’m not afraid to kick it down a notch, but mechanical issues aside I’ve been injury free for a couple of years now (slight hamstring issue last winter but that was a saddle height issue that took a while to figure out). Great post.

    1. Thanks Jim!! I often use my mind to push me to my limits and beyond, even when the body says otherwise, so it is hard for me as well. The doctor did say I could spin easy today for an hour if it doesn’t hurt. Doing that now in the trainer and have had no pain. I’m hopeful all I needed was complete rest.

  3. I needed this today. This applies in many situations. I did too much today even though its so much less than i could do. Patience is such a difficult lesson

  4. I hope your shin is feeling better 10 days into solid rest! I can relate completely… I’ve been dealing with a foot issue the past few weeks, and just yesterday decided what it needs is solid rest (more on the blog soon). Not even one day in, and I’m struggling… thank for this! It was exactly what I needed to hear! Rest now, and we’ll both be stronger come IMWI! 🙂

    1. As much as our minds don’t appreciate the break, our bodies do. I have a really hard time remembering that. My shin is much better…still not running, but I can swim, bike, strength train and do hot yoga now, so that is all better than nothing!! Rest today for a stronger tomorrow!! 😊

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