As many of you know, I do triathlons. Triathlons have three legs: swim, bike and run. However, many people say that there is a fourth: recovery. What athletes know is if we push and push, whether through training or race day, and never give ourselves some time off, our bodies will start to break down and demand that time.
I have learned that that lesson is true in other areas of my life besides triathlons. I caught a virus six weeks ago. A nasty virus that wiped me out. However, I did not want to cancel on my clients, or my students, or any other of the many varied things that I do. So I kept on going. And going. And going. And I got sicker and sicker and sicker. I went to the doctor and got medications, but, still, no improvement. I went back to the doctor who told me that if I did not take time off, I would not recover. I finally listened to my doctor and my body. I took time off, and I rested. And, surprise, I got better! Now, I am still slowly recovering. I am still coughing, sometimes uncontrollably, but I once again have energy and feel like myself.
This is an important lesson for me and, I suspect, many others. We have responsibilities and obligations. True. We do not want to let anyone down. Also true. People depend on us. We do not have time to stop. Hmm, perhaps not so true! However, if we do not take care of ourselves, we cannot take care of anyone else! In triathlons, I actually get stronger and faster if I allow myself time to rest and recover. The same is true for the rest of my life.
Learn from my mistakes! Take time for you. Take time to heal. Take time for your body. If not for you, then for everyone who depends on you! It is the only way to really take care of business.