Last weekend I spent a few days visiting my dad in North Carolina.  I enjoyed some much needed rest, since the words “stress” and “busy” aren’t even part of my dad’s vocabulary.  Over four glorious days, the only items on my agenda were walking the dog, watching the Olympics, reading the newspaper, and sitting down for meals with family. 

As much as I love challenging workouts at the gym, I have learned that my body also needs periods of recovery.  This knowledge, however, has come over time.  In the past I felt nervous about being away from my home gym because it meant interrupting my workout routine.  I liked the security of my regularly-scheduled fitness classes and of knowing the elliptical would be there waiting for me if I needed it.  Routine is important, but it’s not everything.

I panicked briefly this weekend when I realized a 2-mile walk around the lake with my dad and his fluffy little dog Sunny would be more about “stopping to smell the roses” than it would be about burning chocolate ice-cream calories.  Then my dad pointed to the gulls on the lake and said, “Isn’t this nice—this lake and walking trail that everyone can enjoy?”  I took a deep breath and noticed a swan on the water, appreciating the calm and the chance to recuperate from my hectic schedule.  Slowing down is necessary.  Recovery is essential.

Now I’m back in Boston and back to teaching classes with gusto!  My muscles feel rejuvenated, and I’ve had a good reminder of how much better our workouts can be if we’re well rested and refreshed at the start. 

Stretch, sleep, and be still.

– Sarah