Our bodies are supremely complex, ridiculously cool machines! As I’m learning more about the body, it’s becoming clear to me that when I ignore mine, it’s pretty easy to blow off ‘good practices’ if I’m feeling okay. For example…
- I don’t have time to stretch today.
- I don’t see the benefit of this drill.
- I exercise so much that it doesn’t matter what I eat.
- I don’t need to warm up today.
- Sleep is for the weak!
- Rest day? Meh, I feel good — I think I can fit in a workout.
Admit it, we’ve all done it! The thing is, just because we feel ready for a workout, it doesn’t mean our bodies are. Just because we think we can get by on 4 hours of sleep, it doesn’t mean our bodies have had enough rest. Just because we don’t see an immediate benefit, it doesn’t mean our bodies aren’t undergoing important changes behind the scenes.
The body is constantly working and quietly carrying out essential processes so that we, as a) humans, can continue on with our daily lives and, b) athletes, adapt and improve over time. To harness our potential, we have to respect and listen to our bodies. I suppose, if we want want to reach our true potential, we have to pay attention to detail. We have to sweat the small stuff.
Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m not an extremist by any means! I believe in a balanced lifestyle, an imperfect diet (is it possible to live without chocolate?), and the occasional obscenely late night. I’m not promoting perfectionism, but I do want to treat my body well and gain a deeper understanding of it. Perhaps you do too.
So, to help us all out, I’m cooking up a series of bite-sized videos called Sweating the Small Stuff. In these videos, I’ll explore some of the fundamental concepts that most of us are familiar with, but might not exactly understand. Like: what are our bones busy doing while we’re taking rest days? Or, proteins — yes, we all know they’re essential in muscle repair, but why, and how? Getting a better grasp on these concepts can help us all become better informed, and as a result, higher performing athletes.
I’ll be posting STSS videos biweekly on Wednesdays and blog posts weekly on Fridays — stay tuned!