Ironic, isn't it, that I have to take up jogging in order to learn to slow down? I've been jogging -- slowly -- for two months now and really enjoy it. I've been pushing myself to go a little faster, go a little further, as much as I can. And my left knee, the object of surgery a decade ago, has been stiff and aching a bit the last six weeks or so. I've noticed the ache but have ignored it because, as I said, I'm enjoying jogging and I didn't want anything to change. I realized that there was something compulsive about this but I was feeling good about exercising and I figure there are worse things I could be compulsive about than exercise.
Last weekend I got a book out of the library about running. The author, a coach and former Olympic runner, emphasizes that running moderately is essential to avoiding injuries, which is key because if you are injured, you cannot run. He suggests that you have some rest days, other days where you have easy workouts, and only once a week have a long run or a fast run. According to this author, you can do this even to train for races such as the marathon and run faster than if you were to push yourself more. Not least important, running moderately helps you to enjoy running more and avoid burnout.
This book helped me see that I could benefit from a "less is more" approach to jogging. This week I've run slower, run less, and walked more. And my knee doesn't hurt!
Al-Anon has a slogan that says "Easy does it." When I first came to Al-Anon, I had no idea what that meant. If "it" needs to be done, then doesn't it need the full-court press? I'm slowly learning that sometimes "easy does it" better it than "hard" does. "Hard" may satisfy my compulsive urge but it leaves me open to getting injured. And when I'm hard on myself, I'm hard on others too. I am glad to be learning to be more gentle with myself and others and to enjoy the journey rather than just racing to the finish as fast as I can.