When the going gets tough…

Update time! I am pleased to report that I have worked out 9 out of 10 days since I started my latest fitness stretch. The one day off (and, trust me, days off are important) came after I played in a full-field soccer tournament this past weekend. That’s something I haven’t done in a while: 11 v 11, 30-minute halves, 5 games, in the sun and heat. Although I play soccer twice a week, just about every week, those games are 8v8 and on a much smaller field. And only one per day. Needless to say, the tournament was AWESOME, but I haven’t been that sore since preseason training for college soccer!

Back in my soccer heyday

I can feel the soreness still carrying over into this week, even after the day off. I got into the gym on Tuesday determined to run a few miles on the treadmill and then lift. I managed about a half-mile on the treadmill before I decided to give up on that—but, what do you know, my legs felt fine when I was squatting or lunging or doing deadlifts! So I did those, and lots of ab work, and didn’t feel bad about the running. It’s all about adaptability and getting that workout in even if it isn’t what you originally planned.

I had an indoor soccer game last night, which is good cardio, and more soccer tonight. Back in my peak state of fitness, I’d do a workout in the morning and these soccer games at night. Given my present soreness—honestly, I feel like my body is still recovering from the tournament, 4 days later, and now I can feel Tuesday’s lifting session as well—I said “screw it” to morning workouts this week so I can play well. I’m confident in that decision. And I’m still eating ice cream… which might be what’s holding my abs back from their full potential. Oh well.

I guess the moral of this story, or how I’ve experienced it, anyway, is that if you go really hard for any length of time you’re always going to have to pay your dues for it at some point. It might be a hard week one week and an easy one the next; you might go for a whole month without having to dial it back (if you’re in excellent shape), but you might be wrecked for a longer period of time. The point is, like I’ve said before, is to push yourself to do what you can, keep up the consistency, but don’t sweat it too much if you can’t go as hard as you originally wanted to. Of course, there’s a difference between being unable to go hard and unwilling to go hard, and I’ve fallen into that rut myself a time or two. The difference is pushing yourself when you are capable to do so. Currently I’m taking it day-by-day, and going as hard as I feel able to while still keeping a balance—and not getting discouraged when the going gets tough! Getting back into shape after extended time off can be a rough road, and I have plenty of experience with that.  But I have a week and a half til L.A., and this last stretch is going to be awesome!