Lost: One Exercise Mojo

November 1st, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits

Cobbs Hill Reservoir

Did you ever watch that HBO show Six Feet Under?

There’s this great quote in one episode that I think about from time to time.

We all go through fallow periods when we must let the soil rest to prepare for new growth.

Agriculturally speaking, when a field is left to go “fallow”, that means nothing is planted for a period of time in order to let the soil rest before it’s called upon to grow another crop.

I often think of that quote when it’s time to take a break from anything, whether you particularly want to or not.

And I’m thinking about this quote now as I’ve been struggling to find the motivation to exercise as regularly as I usually do in the recent span of weeks here.  It seems to happen every year at this time, I’ve almost come to expect it.

It happens.  We all go through fallow periods. In my case it’s exercise this time, but in your case it could be anything. Feeling burnt out at work, at school, at home. Sometimes we need to let ourselves take it easy. We need to let ourselves rest. And it’s OK.

When I think about a period of rest in terms of “preparing for new growth”, it’s feels easier somehow. To think about it that way, it’s more about getting ready for whatever new adventures lie ahead, instead of something that you feel guilty doing (or not doing). It’s about taking care of yourself and respecting your need for occasional rest.

After all, how can you take care of the other people in your life if you’re not taking care of yourself?

Anyway, this is me trying not to beat myself up over the fact that I just can’t seem to drag myself out of bed and bound off to the gym at 6 AM or run through the streets in the dark with my neighborhood running group right now. It’s all OK. I know I’ll be in the mood again at some point here, probably just in time for the frigid air to bluster on through and the snow flakes to fly.

I did go “force myself” to go for a walk today though. It was simply too perfect of a cool, sunny fall day to not get out there for at least a little while. I dropped the little people off for their afternoon class and then took a very leisurely stroll around a popular place to walk and run in my city. And it was nice. I listened to Jillian’s latest podcast, hauled my camera around with me for a bit and smiled at other runners as they lapped me over and over again, no sweat.

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7 Responses

  • Lisa says:

    I really like this concept—I’m struggling with the working out thing right now too. The weather started to change, and all of a sudden I couldn’t just go outside and walk whenever I felt like it. This, somehow, led me to stop doing as much of the working out I do inside too. Then…I started to feel guilty….and thought about how when I do start my interval timer training again, I’ll be sore…and I just can’t get excited about it…

    So much of life is about “rewriting the story” or changing the perspective, isn’t it? Thanks for the new perspective–it has helped already :)

  • Robin says:

    I find that when I force myself to do something, I resent it. I think it is a great idea to take a step back when you are feeling burnt out. I took the fall off from marathon training as I was really burning out and when it was time to start over, I couldn’t wait to get out for a long run. You will find your desire again, this cold weather is stealing it from all of us.

  • Cindy says:

    I am in the same boat.
    late summer I just was DONE.

    and now that it’s cooler and fall, I am starting to get antsy to get my running shoes back on.


  • sarah says:

    Ayep, Ayep, ayep, ayep. Thought provoking. T’anks.

  • Sounds like very good advice. And while you are trying not to beat yourself up, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for doing a marathon followed by a 5k… which is by no means a small victory. The idea of running for 26 miles seems so far away for me. You really should give your body a break after running so many miles (especially with a knee injury).

    And like other commenters mentioned, it is so much more fun to be excited about working out. It will come, and you will feel so much better for having listened to your body. 😀