Take a step back

Photo courtesy of One Lucky Guy (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of One Lucky Guy (Creative Commons)

It is no fun being injured, especially when it prevents you from doing the things that you love and that you are used to doing. As a runner, being out with a pulled muscle is frustrating, but it’s important to take a step back from training to allow the time necessary to heal. If not, things will only get worse.

Last year, I pulled a hamstring muscle while training for a race, and because I continued to train instead of staying off of it, my leg took months to heal completely. Looking back, that was a lot of unnecessary pain, discomfort and frustration simply because I was too stubborn to take the break I needed to.

Recently, I pulled a calf muscle, but this time, I took measures like alternative workouts that did not stress it, and using other remedies to speed the healing process. I was only out for a week.

I see that pattern in other areas of my life too – when I’m overwhelmed by a project or situation, I tend to keep pushing through it instead of stopping and taking a break. It’s important to step away sometimes to get a new perspective or to refresh you mind and spirit instead of just forcing yourself through.

Often there are better ways to get to the goal that you just don’t see when you are in the middle of it. Stepping away to plan (or re-plan) and brainstorm with others can be invaluable because you see the situation from a different perspective.

Imagine a maze, where you continue to bump into dead ends while you are in it, but if you could step back (or up) to see it from above, the path becomes clear.

Those alternative workouts allowed my leg to heal quickly just like stepping away to plan some of my projects can help me become more efficient and productive with my work.

Where do you need to take a step back?