8/24/19 What I Learned By Doing the Wrong Thing (2nd Unplanned Rest Day)

Yesterday I got the kids back. I was so excited. I made tentative plans to take them to the pool but… I got this headache and my stomach felt all-icky. So I picked them up, we came home, I ate some food, and then I lay down in the living room with them playing around me. They played video games. I napped on and off while I listened to them, hoping my headache would go away. But it was just getting worse. Eventually I saw it was the time I should have started feeding the boys lunch if we were going to the pool. But I really didn’t want to go at all. I wanted to curl up and sleep.

I didn’t do that though. I sat up and did some research for the fantasy novel I’m writing while the boys continued to play around me. By then they had moved into the dinning room and were working on arts and crafts. I helped thread needles and tie knots. I chatted with them. After a while I started watching YouTube videos about healthy eating. Michael snuggled down with me on the couch and watched too. It was all about foods he would never eat; spinach, mushrooms, kale, broccoli. I was surprised he was interested. Anyway, the afternoon rolled a long. I fed them lunch when they said they were hungry. All the while, my head kept hurting.

Ultimately I took the boys to see a movie. We ate lots of junk food. I got all the fixings, popcorn, candy, and soda, the works. My thinking was, I have been doing so well working out, I can afford to splurge a little every once in a while. I also still harbored the belief that I might go for a run later once my headache was gone.

By the time we cam home though, I felt so much worse. My headache never went away and by then it was dinnertime. It was dawning on me that I wasn’t going to workout at all that day. Suddenly all that junk food I had just eaten felt like cement and failure mixed inside my body. And that’s when I started thinking about all the times I had “splurged a little” in the last week. And I started to think, if you are always splurging, then it’s no longer splurging, it is just how much you consume. That’s how you live now. That’s your norm. And I don’t want candy and ice cream to be my norm. I want to eat salad and smoothies and I want to run and swim and feel more of this feeling I have been getting when I work out.

So … what could I do? Well, my headache was still there, it was now dinnertime, and I wasn’t going to get a workout in. I did what I could do; I committed myself to go swimming the next day, rain or shine. I had a light dinner (and a healthy snack later in the night when that wasn’t enough). And I chalked the day up to a learning day.

The thing is… I felt all kinds of crappy, sure. But it was the kind of crappy that if I had simply gone and worked out, I would have probably felt much better. My anxiety would have melted away with the flood of endorphins and my headache might have disappeared. But, instead of pushing myself out, I curled inwards to protect myself, which ultimately made me feel much worse.

The truth that I learned is this: the possible uncomfortable experience of getting to the gym with the boys, making sure they have every thing, making sure I have everything, getting them settled in the water, getting in myself, keeping an eye on them while I am swimming laps and then doing all of that in reverse when it is time to leave, all of that is less painful than not going and feeling like I did yesterday. Of course it helps that my headache is finally gone. After I ate some good food and got some real sleep I felt 100% better.

So, today we will all go to the pool and swim. I will tell you all about it tomorrow.

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