“People like to say life is a marathon, not a sprint,
but it’s actually more like a track workout.
We run hard and then rest hard.
We charge a hill and then chug some Gatorade.
We do some stairs, then some 200s, and then a few 400s.
In between, we rest.”
I learned something interesting while doing research on unhurried living… elite athletes practice a rhythm called “periodization” — which means they give as much priority to rest and recovery as they do to practice and competition.
I decided to apply this rhythm and give priority to my rest and refreshment this week. I left my normal surroundings for a few days and traveled to a place where I could enjoy God’s creation; I spent memory-building time with special people and took more time to read than normal.
This is not easy for me to do. I often feel guilty for taking time off. There is a age-old condemnation inside of me that says “work is good, rest is bad” (more about that later).
Thankfully, I have enjoyed running over the last few years, so I understand the idea of rest being important – even essential – to athletes. I could not run every single day or I would injure myself or burn out. I needed to care for my diet, my sleep, and my emotional state in order to run regularly.
I also understand the need for variety in the pace and activities of my workout. I alternated distances on different days and mixed in stretching, cycling, walking, and strength-building exercises as part of my well-being routine. That rhythm kept me healthy and helped me look forward to running.
This week, I am stronger, more energized, and more motivated because of the time I took to rest and recover.
Periodization is essential for athletes. It is essential for unhurried living also.
Think about your next week as a workout. How can you adjust your schedule to ensure you “run the stairs”, get refreshment, and also rest?