If there is one thing I think I have learned over the years when running, swimming, cycling, whatever – and it is advice I have shared and will reinforce – if it hurts, stop! However, yesterday, on my first run of the new year (I have had a horrible virus like everyone else) I totally ignored that advice – again. So whilst it is great advice and I know it, I ignored my own body and my own mind.
I’d like to think it is complicated. It isn’t. It is born out of frustration. I have worked so hard over the years to get fit and enjoy exercise and compete only to be sabotaged by various and multiple injuries and illnesses. To put it simply I will not give in to something I cannot see, quantify or understand. I am stubborn and I am frustrated. I know from talking to friends and family that many people do this – even though they have other contradictory thoughts and advice.
Thinking through and planning what I want to do and how allows me to take control and understand a realistic approach. This ensures I listen to my body, I am not getting any younger, and I take a common sense, sensible, analytic approach to health and exercise. My approach is straightforward and will follow the steps below to formulate a personal, achievable action plan. The plan will allow regular reviews and is flexible. Nothing in the plan will be set in stone.
It isn’t rocket science but following two surgeries in four months – in addition to illness and injury – I realise I need to take much better care of myself otherwise exercise (which I love) will become more difficult and I will become more frustrated. The plan is flexible enough to allow me to stop when it hurts, take a breath and review (with appropriate advice!).
That’s my plan. You can have one too!