“Take a rest. A field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”
I just remembered something.
I’m a runner.
Did you remember that? Because I didn’t. I’m tellin’ ya – I seriously think I forgot about that for a while.
I have these little ‘categories’ set up on my blog. Not sure if anyone ever notices that you can search for writings under the categories, but I thought it was a cool option when I was designing this thing, so I went with it. I set up four categories – Freestyle Writings, Poetic Musings, Running, and Songs. When I first started out, I was afraid that the “running” category would be jam packed, and that my readers who were non-runners would be bored senseless. I was at the peak of my running ‘career’ at that point – training my tail off for my first half-marathon (which I successfully completed in May, by the way). I was full of wit and wisdom for new runners and amateur runners like myself – hoping to show everyone that anyone can do this running thing and that you just have to push through and believe in yourself and persevere through the obstacles…..yada yada. So on and so forth.
But then – well, I don’t know.
I just kinda just stopped that.
I just clicked on my own “Running” tab to see the last thing I had written about running. It was this: https://missyspublicjunk.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/time-to-chill/ Oh. An article called “Time to Chill.” Well, that explains it.
At that time, I was all prepared to purchase this t-shirt and hang up my running shoes:
Yep. I was done for a while.
In other words, I had been….
Hehe. Get it? Running on empty? Oh, the wit.
But I digress.
So, yeah. I had achieved what many of us have achieved in many different areas of our lives at some point. Anytime you’re passionate about something; you spend all your time doing said something; you dedicate your heart and soul and spirit to the something – there exists the risk of running into that little devil who is always waiting just around the corner to put a stop to it all. What is this little devil, you ask?
“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions – your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker.”
– Sam Keen
That’s just it. I had become a sleepwalker.
So, you know what I did? I took a break. And I think that’s the smartest thing I could have done for myself.
In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that I’ve started feeling the pull again. I started with a few short runs – a mile or two here and there. And slowly, I find myself inching my way back up. A 4-miler here. A 5-miler there. And yesterday – I did my own little 10K just to prove I could. Little by little, I’m making my way back. I saw a post yesterday for a 7-mile run up and down a mountain road here locally. Hmmmm. I have two months to train….
My point is this. Burnout is real. No matter how much you love something, no matter how much a part of your life it becomes, overdoing it can be problematic. It really can. It’s ok to take a break. You know? Chill out a little bit. Let things settle. Let yourself remember why you love this thing so much and why you ever started it in the first place.
Are you a runner? Well, there. Apply this lesson literally. But if you’re not? Well then, I’m sure there’s something you can apply it to.
Maybe even someone? Now, there’s some food for thought.
But see, here’s the thing. When you want it bad enough, when it has become a part of you, it won’t disappear. I promise. Taking a break is not going to un-do any progress you made. This thing you love is not going to go away. Not when it’s real.
Rest easy. Stop worrying. It will be back. You’ll see.
“”Sometimes in sports there are times when it is best to wait for another day and try again, at least for me. I see life as the race and I see no honor in reaching the finish and passing out or crawling across the finishing line. In Costa Rica, we have a saying: It’s not about being the first to finish, it’s about how you get there.”