Health Tips/ Motivation

Thinking Out Loud About Stress, Balance and How Precious Life Is

Well would you look at that, I’ve managed to remember to link up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud two weeks in a row!  I had a lot of fun sharing my random thoughts last week and you all had so many kind comments that I’m back again with some more things to share.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about…. Stress management.

While running can be a great way to manage stress, training can also be a source of stress. I somehow managed to race fairly well at STWM last weekend, but lately I have been constantly tired and complaining of dead legs.  I’ve been deep in thought lately trying to figure what’s been causing my fatigue and I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps training has been the straw that has broken the camel’s back? My home life is busy, work is busy, the blog is busy and so has been training.  The decision to back off of racing that I made last week has helped me to feel a lot less tired and stressed, and helped me to take on a more restful recovery, instead of jumping back in right after the race to begin training for something else, I took two days off of exercise completely.  I did some Yoga yesterday morning, and went for an easy recovery run this morning.  Incidentally my recovery run was at a faster pace than what all of my training runs were at,which brings me to my next thought.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about…. Balancing rest with training.

As I reflect back on all of my training over the past year, it’s no wonder that I got slower instead of faster.  On average I only gave myself 1 day/week of complete rest.  My best running friends that I run with are faster than me and I should have been considering those as “hard” workouts, and should have allowed myself an easy recovery day afterwards.  Instead I was doing hard strength or spinning workouts on the other days.  Essentially every workout was hard and there just wasn’t any balance.  Over the next few months of not training and not racing I will continue to workout, but I want to do my strength on the same days as my running on my lunch breaks at GoodLife Fitness.  Then on the next day I will either do Yoga (I’m really starting to enjoy yoga), or will take a complete rest day to allow myself time to recover.  This way I can balance hard/easy days.  Juliette has long been saying this to me, but I’ve just been too stubborn to listen.  I’m looking forward to seeing where this new approach takes me, and of course if I miss a workout it’s no big deal as I’m not training for any races 🙂

Lately I’ve been thinking about…. How precious life is.

My two previous thoughts are very trivial compared to this next thought, but in many ways balancing stress is tied into my thoughts about how precious life is.  WAY back in our University days my husband played Rugby on the Varsity Rugby team and became good friends with Chuck.  Chuck was dating Barb, who like me, was in the Athletic Therapy program at York.  Needless to say we became good friends and hung around together quite a bit. Years went by and Chuck was the best man in our wedding, and my husband was in Chuck and Barb’s wedding party. We went to their cottage every summer for years.  Their oldest daughter was born a year before our oldest daughter, their son is a few months younger than our middle daughter.  (Brooke has a little crush on him and blushes whenever we mention his name).

Barb went on after Athletic Therapy and became a Certified Athletic Therapist and then a Certified Physiotherapist.  Her whole career was about helping other athletes.  An avid soccer player, Barb went in for a routine surgery to repair her ACL in September 2014. What happened next is beyond hard to describe without tears in my eyes.  Barb went into cardiac arrest and was on life support for several weeks following the surgery. Several of her organ systems stopped working (liver, kidneys) as a result of mass on her adrenal gland (pheochromocytoma).  The presence of the mass was unknown at the time of the operation, though the fact it was discovered while she was already in the hospital probably saved her life! To make a really long story short, Barb’s recovery has been a long slow road, and she has been in hospitals and rehab centers for the past 13 months.  I believe that she is now in a stable condition, but she currently is quadriplegic, and is undergoing extensive rehab to hopefully help her regain movement in her arms and legs.

Here is an interview our local news station did with Barb.

My brother, myself and Chuck at my wedding.

As with any medical situation, the financial requirements on Chuck to provide care for his wife is high.  He’s a great guy and very independent, and up to now has been very hesitant to set up a Go Fund Me to fundraise, however after lots of thought and consideration he has finally put up a Go Fund Me page to help fundraise the funds require for her care. 

The point in sharing this with you is not to ask you to support Chuck and Barb (though that would be nice too) but to share a reminder that life is short and precious.  I wanted to remind you to take one day at a time, to enjoy every moment with those special people around you, and to balance stress, running and life.

Once again, thanks for reading my thoughts, I hope you have a great day!

Question: What have you been thinking about lately?

This post is being written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program.

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  • Launna
    October 22, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Janice, I have been thinking the same thing about the working out aspect, when I woke up this morning I had a weakness in my right leg that I have honestly been ignoring because I want to work hard everyday… I decided to give my body a break today and honestly am thinking I need more than one day a week to do that. I totally understand about over pushing myself… and you do more than I do. .

    I am so sorry about your friend, it does remind us just how precious life is… I had that wake up call when close friend died in a car crash suddenly at a very young age, I realized more what was important…

    I like these posts about your thoughts, I hope you have time to do them here and there xox

    • Janice
      October 28, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks Launna, I’ll definitely try to keep up with the Thursday Thoughts posts, they’re very fun to write too. I hope that all is well with you!

  • Elle
    October 25, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about Barb. I hope her recovery goes well.

    I think that having a balance is so important in all factors of our lives. Like you already pointed out – your run time has gotten slower despite doing more harder workouts. I think this can be applied to work and life as well. The more we try to do without stopping and giving ourselves a rest, our quality of life decreases and also the quality of our work. It’s good to have a day a week to ourselves and do whatever we want – whether it means sleeping in until noon or reading a relaxing book.

    • Janice
      October 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Thanks Elle!

  • Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
    October 25, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Wow heartbreaking story for sure. Hope she continues to be on the road to wellness and health. Hugs

    • Janice
      October 28, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks Deborah!

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