Sometimes, you just need a break. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Well, this hasn’t been an easy lesson for me to learn. As I’ve admitted on my blog many times before, I tend to be of the mind frame that more activity is always better. More exercise, more repetitions, more movement, more more more. I’ve never slept much and honestly never had much of an appreciation for sleep partially because I felt like it was taking time away from doing other activities. Why “waste” time sleeping when I can learn a new skill, read a book, play music or create something? As a result, I haven’t always had much respect for the impact that proper rest can have in an intensive training regimen.
After almost 14 months of relentless physical training and rehab, repetitions, visualization exercises, thousands and thousands of attempts to connect my mind to my body and vice versa and reestablish those damaged neural connections… finally, I took a break.
I came to Hawaii with my girlfriend and spent a week fully unplugging from my intensive training and letting my body do something it hasn’t done since I was lying in a hospital bed last year: rest. I didn’t train in any way, I didn’t even do any mental exercises, I just completely tried to let myself forget my routine and enjoy these moments of rest and relaxation. The result was an incredible week of quality time with my girlfriend, some of the best sleep of my life, healing some extremely overused and tired shoulders and arms, and a near constant enjoyment of the present moment. At times, I can even say that I almost forgot about my injury completely, which was an incredible blessing.
Ok so in all honesty, I wasn’t completely inactive the whole time. Thanks to my girlfriend’s persistent urging, we got into a double kayak and spent almost an entire day paddling up a quiet river into the peaceful jungle. I didn’t think my core was strong enough to handle even five minutes in a kayak, but her insistence that I was ready and able was right. Proof:
This trip is part rest and part therapy as I’ll now spend the next several days working with yet another practitioner, a person who’s had astounding results treating SCI with her own creative and unique approach using her system of Neurokinetic Pilates and emphasizing neuroplasticity, the belief that the brain and nervous system can rewire and repair itself. I’ll write about my experience with her in my next post, but for now, I’m still enjoying the tail end of this badly needed and deserved rest.