"Listen to your body" is something that anyone who has ever done anything fitness related has heard over and over again. "Your body knows what its doing" "Your body knows what it needs" "Your body is telling you what to do" "Listen to it."
Yeah, well no offense to genetics (sorry, Mom and Dad!) but my body is a whiny little bitch. There. I said it!
Never being one prone to physical fitness, this new "fit" lifestyle is completely new to me. Sure, I danced as a child (up until college), I swam and dove competitively, and even played some team sports as a wee girl (didn't last long); but I was never the "give it my all" type of athlete. I was in it to participate. In it for the friends, in it for the "fun".
The first thing I ever found to be 'hard' (fitness related) was spinning. Riding a bike isn't hard, right? Well, I coughed and hacked my way through my first class and clutched my stomach trying to force the nausea away while shuffling my way home. My legs burned, my heart was pounding, so I spent most of the class sitting on the bike just pedaling along.
When I began running, everything hurt. My knees, my thighs, my butt actually moved up and down as I trotted down the road, leaving the muscle actually sore from impact. (Hint: compression pants are your friend!) My lungs burned, my heart raced, and my body was screaming "STOP! STOP! STOP RIGHT NOW!" So, I stopped. I always stopped.
Granted, there are times where walking is necessary, and I have stopped beating myself up over the absolute need to slow it down during a run; but, listening to my body often leads to me accepting less than what I can actually do.
Sure, my body feels like it knows what it needs.
"Rest today. Feel the hurt in your legs? It's because you did too much yesterday. Know what would be better? Order pasta in and just rest."
My body thought it knew what it needed 50 pounds ago. Now, I can power through a 45 minute spin class pushing myself harder each step of the way. I can push myself hard to get a tough workout even if the instructor, for lack of a better word, sucks. And running will eventually be the same. Body screaming "Stop!" or not, I'll show that little voice just how much more can be done.