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Big Exhale

On the 9th Day of Christmas, running gave to me: REST

There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.  

Alan Cohen

I'm keeping this one short and sweet...


Probably the hardest thing I've had to learn to date is to REST.

We have to REST. All the work we do in life is absorbed through REST. All the heavy lifting physically and mentally and emotionally--our spirits, our creativity--they all need REST to be able to do the meaningful, hard work we ask them to do. We grow our muscles and repair our tissue through REST. Our brains process and sort our experiences into memories and flush out toxins through REST. If we don't REST, none of that happens.

I spent my life, and the first 3 years of my running and fitness experience, fighting REST. I had adopted the belief that my worth came from always doing. In fact, there was some kind of weird virtue in struggle. But it's not true; and the irony is, I have been more productive in the last year or two than I have in the 50 years before because I'm learning to REST. Don't get me wrong: I love hard work. I respect hard work. I believe in the importance of working hard. I push harder now through the walls than I did before; I get uncomfortable and stay the course to the end more and more; and I work my way through obstacles with a level of tenacity I have never had---but then I REST. I know what it means to earn my REST now. As time goes on I am becoming more and more confident in taking my REST, and have less and less need to explain it, justify it or apologize for it.

As always, it's a work in progress. But on this Sunday, the 9th Day of Christmas, running gave me REST. And I'm going to take it.