Maybe Stopping Isn’t What You Need
Posted by terrepruitt on June 13, 2009
I am very fortunate that the place I teach in Willow Glen is only about 15 minutes from where I live in San Jose. But as I was driving home the other day something dawned on me. It is my opinion that people often use their brakes when it is not necessary. For example, I do not think it is safe to put on your brakes and come to a crawl on the freeway because you want to change lanes. I see this a lot in our area.
So what dawned on me is that braking or stopping is NOT always the correct course of action. I was thinking that this comparison could be used for life, then I realized it could be used for fitness too.
Some people think that if they have a little bit of discomfort they should stop doing what they are doing. And–oh my, I just realized that I am pretty much back to Sustain, Increase, and Tweak, except this is coming at it from a different angle and it is more about exercise and workout momentum and not in-the-moment-movement.
Here, I am talking about just applying the brakes and stopping, whereas it could be that the best thing to do would be just to take our foot off the petal and slow down that way . . . more naturally. Or it could mean that a swerve is necessary, or maybe even a turn, but NOT just stopping. If you are sore or you are a little stiff, sometimes just stopping and not doing any exercise or movement is not the best way to get through it. I am not one for stopping when I am sore, I just might slow down or work another part of my body, but just stopping kills my exercise mojo. I gotta keep at it every day!
Part of what we need to do is understand the difference between pain and an injury and just discomfort and soreness. So you need to be your own guide through this, but always think twice before you just stop. I personally believe that sometimes just doing a percentage of what you normally might do is better than nothing at all. When the situation is just soreness. An actual injury needs to be treated with caution, but you still don’t always have to stop.
I might have partly been on this train (of thought) because one of my students came in with a sore hip flexor but instead of just not coming she said she was going to take it easy on her hip. Nice, huh? And then I know of another Nia teacher who recently injured herself and she is still going to teach, but she is going to modify her class. She wrote an e-mail to her students and a blog explaining that she is going to listen to her body’s way. So she is teaching them a lot by doing that: she is going to show them what we talk about all the time in Nia and that is listening to our bodies and following the body’s way and she is going to show them a different way to do Nia. But the point is, she isn’t stopping. She is swerving or even turning but not stopping.
I think sometimes before we stop we need to think of how we can adjust to what we need, but keep going. And as I said this can be applied to fitness/training/working out or just everyday life. Do you think before you apply the brakes and stop?