When I lay down barely able to get out of bed, all I feel is guilt. I found in my experience that martial artists as a whole are a pretty goal oriented group and generally are very driven. When you combine that in a combat athlete with a whole lot of anecdotal evidence, you get this idea that more is better. “Work through it.” “Train hard.” And “Train a lot.”
But most of us are not professional athletes. We don’t have the luxury of jut training. We have jobs, families, responsibilities, bills and maybe even a fury four-legged friend. But we still train hard on top of everything else. I know because I’ve done it.
I used to train for 3 hours even after a 10-hour shift. I did it because I felt like it was the only way for me to get better. I sometimes still feel that way. The thing that I found out the hard way is stress is stress. Your body does not differentiate between physical stress and mental stress. Your body has a physical reaction to both. A deadline at work, a fight with your significant other, or just not getting enough sleep. They all tax your body on top of your training. I used to wonder in my early 20s why I’d be so tired with almost flu like symptoms by the third day of training. I would wonder, “I’ve only trained three days.” Then when I was fighting I would add roadwork and lifting to my schedule if training wasn’t enough. I started only counting the excises that I did outside of martial arts as a “workout.”
I would get sick all the time but it was never enough. I never trained enough or ran enough, or lifted enough. I would just feel this wave of guilt before I went to bed every night wondering if I had done enough. Then I wouldn’t be able to get up in the morning.
I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Then my boyfriend, who has been a trainer for a long time, said, “Your liver doesn’t know its chest day.” Of course at the time I didn’t listen to him because he is my boyfriend.
I know what he meant now. Looking back on it now it was so obvious that my body was over taxed. Not by my workout per say but the stress of my mind and it effect on my body. Like I said stress is stress.
Now when I’m over taxed I take the rest I need. Martial art is a marathon not a sprint. And I want to be doing martial arts for the rest of my life.