Knowing When To Give Yourself A Break

Hello Marguline readers!

It has been over a month since my last post, but the expression of being busy is an understatement.

I’m sitting in my new home right now as I’m writing this blog post. I’m living in Wisconsin again, and I’m now writing from where we hopefully will be settling for a long time.  With that said, I can tell you that this past month has been a whirl wind.  I went straight from working my former job in Kentucky on a Friday, to starting my new job in Wisconsin on the following Monday, to planning the move, finding the money, turning 30, making the rounds to say good bye to friends and family, to saying hello to new friends, to actually driving several trips for the move back and forth from Kentucky to Wisconsin and back, then back again, to getting our pets (two dogs and two cats) transitioned as smoothly as possible, to getting back into routines and creating new ones!

Needless to say, it’s been busy.  It’s been stressful.  And with such a crazy schedule I have to say getting in time to workout or going for a run wasn’t easy.  In fact the last full week I was in Kentucky I worked out two days!  But now, I’m writing to you from my new home, in a new city (Madison), I am super happy and very challenged at my new job, and I’ve continued my weight lifting and keeping my running up. Jeff and I are super happy!


But I have to say that two weeks ago, I had a moment during a weight lifting routine where I had to be okay with taking a break.  I had worked all day, ran errands during lunch, and after work I went grocery shopping.  I made it home in time, starving, and managed to make myself a protein smoothie to cover the hunger pains so I can get a workout in.  My weighted squats were fine, I did two sets of fifteen like a BAMF, but then came workout B of the routine.  The first set of fifteen push ups were a struggle.  Normally, I can whip out fifteen unmodified push ups in no time, maybe thirty seconds.  But this time, it took me about 45 seconds.  Then on the second set, what normally is a little more time but still able to whip out fifteen unmodified push ups, turned into doing six and then finishing the rest in modified position.  I couldn’t believe it!  But as I was taking my sixty second break before my next move, I noticed that I was extremely tired.  Like, hadn’t had much sleep and pushed my brain and body all day so hard tired. I managed to do the two sets of the second move from workout B,but workout C I had to skip.

These are the moments where I am super self-critical.  I think that sometimes we, especially women, tend to blur the line of what is being lazy and not pushing yourself to what is just flat out fatigue.  When trying to get healthy, any health book will tell you to listen to your body, but sometimes it’s hard to differentiate when our body is telling us that we are just fatigued from a challenging workout to when  our body is screaming that it just can’t go on! “Stop please, you’re killing me!”was what I felt my body was telling me that day. And so I stopped.

When training for races, I listen very carefully to what my body is telling me.  I can usually determine what is just soreness from pushing myself to what is actually a freakin’ injury.  But sometimes, I think, us fitness junkies are just plain stubborn.  I didn’t want to quit that workout routine that day any more than I wanted to go to the doctor when my knee pain was not getting better during runs in training for a race.  BUT. the moment I couldn’t finish my second set of push ups, and then stood up and felt really really drained, I ended up stepping back for a minute and looking at why I would have been so tired that evening.  When I realized that I had put my mind and body through plenty of challenges that day, I suddenly became okay with just saying that’s it for the day.  After all, ten minutes of intense working out is better than nothing, right?

This week, I want you to take a moment out of your workout to really meditate on how you’re feeling during your workout. Listen to your body.  If you are struggling, is it because of lack of motivation in your mind, or is it because your body is flat out fatigued?  Are you feeling better now that you have started your workout?  Is your workout relieving stress for the day?

Because sometimes, it’s okay to give yourself a break from being self-critical and thinking you are weak.  Sometimes it’s okay to skip a set if you’re feeling ill, or you just can’t push yourself through.  One of the most important parts of getting fit is knowing when you need to push yourself or when you need to slow down for a bit.


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