Accidental Rest

Accidental Rest

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I accidently took a rest day.

I was planning on running.

The run was scheduled in my calendar.

I had every intention of doing it.

But I didn’t.

I didn’t consciously come up with an excuse not to do it.

I didn’t even think about it.

It simply didn’t happen.

So instead of running – today I rested.

In this scenario, I have a few options.

I can:

  1. Make peace with the unexpected rest day.
  2. Beat myself up for being a slacker.  Ridicule myself and feel bad that I didn’t make it out.
  3. Look on the bright side.  Figure out what makes today a perfect rest day. Something along the lines of my body clearly was not motivated to do it.  I’m listening to my body.  Yeah me!

In the big picture, it might not seem to matter what I choose.

The day is over and the run didn’t happen.

But it does matter.

How I choose to handle the bad days, the unmotivation & the roadblocks has everything to do with how much I enjoy running and how often I do it.

So which of these scenarios is going to help me get out there tomorrow and enjoy the experience?

Hint: It’s not #2.

And yet, when things don’t go as planned, that’s often the route that’s chosen.

How many times have you eaten the cupcake, skipped the run and then told yourself how lazy you are?

How you’ll never make it to the finish line?

How this is evidence that once again, you’ll come up short.

It happens all the time.

Most often it happens because of an underlying belief that if you go easy on yourself, if you cut yourself some slack, if you don’t make yourself do it now, you’ll never do it.

There’s this idea that the only way to get things done, accomplish your goals and create a life you love, is to force yourself & your body into submission.  It’s pervasive.

But it’s wrong.

Beating yourself up will never create a result of feeling good. It’s nearly impossible to create lasting motivation from a place of feeling crappy.

Give yourself a break.  Be gentle with yourself.  Show yourself some compassion.

Be willing to try another way. To try compassion.

Let yourself feel good – on the days you take action towards your goals and on the days you rest.


  1. JB

    June 11, 2012

    My running has it’s ups and downs. Depending on how busy my weeks are. But by about 4 o’clock in the evening I start thinking about going for a run. It is all dependent on the state of my family affairs. Is everyone stressed out – I’ll stay home; or is everyone feeling fine – I’ll squeeze in a run. It’s a last minute decision, and I’m learning not to beat myself up about it. If I go, great. If I stay, great. Being the beginner that I am, my route has a ‘Plan A’ and a ‘Plan B.’ By about 3/4 of a mile into my run I have to decide if I want to run 1.2 miles, or 2.5 miles. So it’s another decision process of me listening to what my body is telling me. Lately, it’s been ‘run1 mile tonight, and 2.5 miles the next night.’ So my body has been telling me what to do. And I’m at peace with the decision, after a 2.5 mile run, the next night my body is a little achy and needs a run, but not a long one. That’s where I’m at, and since I’m only running to feel better, there is no room for condemnation. If I was running to ‘get skinny’ or to show someone else how awesome I was – I would feel condemned for taking the night off.

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