Welcome to the first ever Two Cents Tuesday!
Every Tuesday I’m a-gonna post about a random topic and then ask you all, readers and bloggers, for your Two Cents. I hope this eventually turns into a link-up party a la What I Ate Wednesday, Marvelous in my Monday, and Foodie Pen Pals – I’ll post a topic the week before so that any bloggers who’d like to participate can write their own Two Cents Tuesday post to link-up to mine. Until then, however, I’d appreciate if you’d all leave your Two Cents in the comments section :).
I realize it’s a little early in my blogging career for me to start this kind of thang but I figure, what the heck. I might as start strong, jump right in, hit the ground running, if you will…
So, here we go!
TCT #1: When is enough too much?
This question popped into my head while I was on my run last Friday afternoon – in 93 degree weather with 70% humidity. I was sweating so profusely that I sort of looked like a drowned rat:
Notice the similarities?
Not only did I look like poo, I also started to feel pretty ick-tastic. My breathing was labored, my muscles were achy, and I had the chills. I’ve experienced these symptoms while running a handful of times throughout the past years. They spring up when I run in insanely hot weather and are a sign of dehydration and the beginning stages of heat exhaustion. Basically, it’s my body telling me “HYDRATE, STOP RUNNING, JUMP IN THAT ENTICING BODY OF WATER OVER YONDER!” However, rarely do I listen. This is stupid, I know.
The thing is, while my body is telling me “Enough, already!” my mind is saying “Oh, come on, you winkle wuss, ignore it! Push through these last two miles! You’re almost there!” Often times, by the time I finally do finish my run “enough” has turned into “too much” and I spend the rest of the day (and occasionally the next morning) with a wicked headache and insatiable thirst.
In most cases, our bodies inherently know the difference between “enough” and “too much.” Too much exercise and you get cramped muscles, too much eating and you get a tummy ache, too much drinking (of the alcoholic variety) and you get a hangover, too much computer time and you get eye strain, too much shopping and… Actually, my body doesn’t know when I’ve had too much shopping. My body always loves new clothes. No, it’s usually my wallet that inherently knows when there’s been too much shopping…
Anywho, even though we often physically feel the difference, our minds have a way of telling us differently:
“OMG, this frosting is SO good, I’m totally having one more cupcake.”
“I don’t have to work tomorrow, it doesn’t matter if I feel like poo, I’m having a great time – sure, gimme me one more glass of wine.”
“I have to finish this blog post, I should probably take a break but I’m on a roll…”
“You can do one more rep/run one more mile. Pain is weakness leaving the body, after all. You have to push yourself to improve. PAIN IS TEMPORARY. PRIDE IS FOREVER.”
It’s this last one that I – and I think many athletes – struggle with the most. Part of training for any kind of physical activity is “mind over matter.” Often our bodies are capable of doing much more than our minds, at first, realize. No pain, no gain. However, this becomes problematic when you get too good at ignoring discomfort in favor of physical improvement. Sometimes you really do need to stop. But how do you determine that? I don’t think I have the answer.
In which case, readers, I turn it over to you: When is enough too much?
What are your Two Cents?