Last week, aside from a short recovery run on Sunday, I didn’t run. It was due to a number of factors, but the main one was that I knew that I should give my body some time to recover after the 50K. I had never done that kind of physical exertion before and I had never given myself that much time to recover before. The one exception due to a bout of self-diagnosed runner’s knee and some dangerously low temps at times this winter.
I’m really glad that I did it, but it totally drove me bonkers. I like running. I wouldn’t run marathons (or, gulp, ultras) if I didn’t. You’ve got to to do that kind of stuff to yourself more than once. But sometimes the things we enjoy can wear us down and can keep us from doing that very thing. And stepping away from something you love can be excruciatingly difficult, even though it’s sometimes necessary. So I got to thinking, as I tend to do, “What other things am I doing in my life that started as enjoyment and now are destructive in some way?” If I were asking the question of all of you (which, I suppose, I am), I’m sure all answers would be different.
My initial thought was coffee, or, at least, the caffeine in coffee. Or sometimes it’s certain people that bring negativity into your life, even though you love them. And these things, whether through emotional, physical, or any other reason, are the hardest to give up, even though you may need to. And a sabbath, even a brief one to give your mind and body respite, reminds us of who we are apart from that thing, person, or activity. And sometimes we need to find ourselves apart from all the extra stuff in order to best enjoy those things later.
Have you ever taken a break or a sabbath from something you’ve really enjoyed? How did you feel after the break?