When The Going Gets Tough, Too Tough

This post is about truly knowing yourself and your limits. I believe that in order to be the healthiest version of yourself you need to be constantly monitoring signs and symptoms of your body and mind telling you that enough is enough. It’s probably not the greatest idea to go to a 6 AM boot camp class after throwing up until 4 AM the same day. I think we would all see this as a pretty extreme situation, but we would all probably agree on what needed to happen. Most of us would just shrug it off as no big deal, but I found myself feeling let down by my body. I felt like my level of dedication to my goal and myself could overpower any obstacle. Once I stopped feeling guilty and distraught, I was able to evaluate the situation under a new perspective. What if I wasn’t listening to what my body really needed? What if I was doing more harm than good?

There are tons of articles and blog posts claiming the “No Pain, No Gain” theory. When in reality, pain is a way for our bodies to communicate that they’ve had enough, and we should back off. I’ve heard people say that you have a weak mind if you stop working out, that your body can handle the rest, but there are limits! There is a difference between finding motivation to push through soreness, but I think there is an unhealthy trend of people pushing themselves and others past the point of pain and in the direction of serious injury.

There is a condition called rhabdomyolysis that has been linked to the CrossFit craze. In a nutshell this condition is caused by the breakdown of muscle fibers which can occur during strenuous exercise, specifically skeletal muscle, that are then released into the bloodstream and then filtered out, like anything else, through your kidneys. The issue with this is that your kidneys are not equipped for this type of cleanup, so they cease to do their main job of filtering toxins and waste from the bloodstream. This is a pretty serious condition that could lead to renal (kidney) failure, liver failure, seizures, cardiac arrest due to high potassium concentration etc. Let’s be clear, this is a rare occurring disorder, and can be caused by a multitude of things, not just CrossFit (I don’t want to spread any rumors here).

So here is my list for deciding when enough is enough and being okay with it

  • Sharp pain, or injury
  • Massive amounts of blood
  • Projectile vomiting, or any vomiting for that matter
  • Passing out
  • Sickness (no need to spread germs and make healing time longer)
  • Complete exhaustion
  • Migraines

On the other hand, here is my list of obstacles I need to push through

  • Soreness
  • Tiredness (who isn’t tired at 5:30 AM)
  • Laziness
  • Procrastination
  • Depression (trust me, going and getting all sweaty during a good workout is almost always a cure for the blues)

I encourage you to be receptive to your body’s cues and don’t be discouraged when you have to take it easy for a few days because you pulled a hammy. It will thank you for giving it time to heal, and you will be back on track to becoming stronger.

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