Rest is something I struggle with. Resting from activity, that is. I am very good at sleeping and taking long naps, but resting from constant motion is not my forte. I wonder if it’s because, as I get older, I’m acutely aware that the years are getting fewer and I still have so much that I want to do.
I sometimes feel very guilty when I take time to just be still, but I’m learning that there is great purpose and reward in stillness. Our physical bodies need time to regenerate and that only comes during rest. We need to sleep well so our cells can prepare themselves for the next day. If you’re an athlete, you know that rest is critical for improvement in any sport. Your muscles need to repair so they can be ready and stronger for the next effort. Our minds need to rest as well. We need to give them time to clear the cobwebs and process what we’ve absorbed. I know I don’t give myself the time I truly need to be physically or mentally ready for the next challenges in life.
As I move forward with these commitments to change in areas of my life, I need to also allow space to just rest. And I have to say this is probably the hardest challenge of all. I am uncomfortable with stillness and definitely troubled by slowness (moving slowly). But I also, thankfully, am gathering a little wisdom as I grow older and recognize that without taking time to rest and breathe, I will ultimately be the cause of my own undoing.
Eight years ago, Mike and I trained to walk a marathon. The training plan included many days of long miles, but it also included days of rest. I remember reading the description of the rest session and it saying to treat this with the same importance that I treat the walking sessions. The only way our muscles can repair is if we rest and if they don’t repair then we open ourselves up to injury. I’m glad the person who wrote that training plan felt it was critical to highlight the importance of rest for those of us who think that rest if for wimps.
Here’s to not being a wimp anymore!