Friday, May 4, 2012

On Overtraining

Circus people and athletes in general are insane.  They've found ways to get around discomfort, terror, and gravity, and this gives them (ok, us) a false sense of invulnerability.  I have still yet to meet a performer that can utter the phrase "recovery is just as important as training."  Instead, we equate hardship, exhaustion, and pain with value, packing our muscles with as much lactic acid as we can and not feeling accomplished unless we have a family sized bag of frozen peas somewhere on our bodies at the end of the day.  Many create and then inhabit the land of chronic fatigue.

We are insane because this is a recipe for failure.  Work means everything, it is the whole world, but we do nothing to ensure that we can keep working; even when the best thing we could do is recognize recovery as necessary.  I met a young chick in SF who complained of never getting any stronger and her joints being swollen and painful.  She said, "maybe it's because I only sleep two hours a night."  DUH!  You think?! 

I write this post because I need it to remind myself- the body has an agenda of it's own...to survive.  It will go to any lengths, eating up its own muscle, going into shock, sending you a migraine, to get this job done.  Like a benevolent sovereign it will react when threatened, and be exquisitely generous when given its dues.  Here's to taking that into account...good luck to me and crazy people everywhere.

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