On Rest Days and Rejecting the Life of a Hermit

lonely rest dayOne extremely unexpected phenomenon that began to occur a few months into my fitness journey was that I began to have a very uneasy relationship with rest days. I just published a short article about why they’re important, but it took a while for me to really wrap my head around it, and honestly, I still feel guilty. Hell, I feel guilty if, like today, I work out early in the day and then don’t work out AGAIN before bed. I manage to work through that guilt (rest through that guilt?) and don’t typically do two-a-days, but dammit, I kind of feel like I should. I can see how people get addicted to exercise. It’s the endorphins, y’all. And, now that I think about it, a feeling like I have a place to go on those long days when I wouldn’t otherwise encounter other human beings.

Now that I’ve started to venture away from the solo nature of the Arc Trainers and dumbbells at the gym, I’m starting to make eye contact with people. I know, right?! And those people are even talking to me. I KNOW, RIGHT??!! The other day it was a woman asking about where I got my lifting gloves (Dick’s) and today it was someone cheerfully singing along to the piped in music who demanded I guess how old he is (37? Nope! 41!). I spend a lot of sometimes intense time with other people at work and at home, and I’ve always thought of the gym as my little one-person cave where tunnel vision works just fine, thankyouverymuch. But after eight years of assiduously ignoring everyone there, I’m beginning to feel a little camaraderie with the regulars. We, you know, nod at each other, and whatnot. My Facebook fast is still firmly in place and may end up being permanent at this point, and that’s where I used to get so much of my connection needs met, especially around working out. It’s been a lonely couple of months, despite some thumbs up on My Fitness Pal check-ins, and “yays” on my Map My (Whatever) workouts. People were not meant to toil in eternal solitude, you guys! At least that’s what I’m beginning to believe.

And everything I’m doing fitness-wise, everything, is through the lens of my new health coaching business (the latest “if” being obtaining a zoning variance – this venture is a roller coaster I haven’t shared much about, but holy cow). I do think it’s important for people to have social connections and I want to foster that in my clients. My membership in the SDLHC on Facebook really is the answer to “How did you lose the weight?” Interestingly, it’s not necessarily the answer to “How are you keeping it off?” But having support in the maintenance phase is important too. Even if that support is sometimes just a knowing nod across the squat rack.

You know, I’m not even going to try to tie this up by bringing it back around to rest days. It’s sort of related. Go with it.



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