Resting is Growing, Waiting is Training

“Don’t try to do more, even if you feel you can,” the Couch to 5K program said.

“No problem,” I said.  At the time I couldn’t run at all.  I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be tempted.  But now I’ve built up some ability and I’m eager to see what I can really do.  Don’t try to do more?  What’s that supposed to mean?

I was taught to work hard since I was big enough to hold a broom.  My parents are both hard workers and, because I came from a large family, everyone needed to do their part.  Since my late teens I’ve been pumped full of success principles: dream big, make no excuses, just do it.  I’m driven.  I’ve got a dream.  I work hard at it.

I’ve also been taught that you need to ‘sharpen the saw’ as Stephen Covey said.  I’m not good at it.  I can’t leave my laptop at home.  I can’t put down the book.  I can’t get off Twitter and Facebook.

This week, as I read through The Way of the Fight, by Georges St. Pierre, I read something that made a lot of sense.  St. Pierre said: “What balance has also are the following two incredibly important lessons: 1) resting is growing and 2) waiting is training.”

Resting is Growing

“What does ‘resting is growing’ really mean?  It means that you have to give your body time to recover from tough workouts, especially if you’re training every day.  It sounds really weird to people who work out so much, but that’s because they’re addicted to the workout.  They can’t stop.  Trust me, I’ve been there.  It’s because the body and the brain are sometimes fighting battles.  The body wants to rest and grow, while the brain thinks the body needs more work.”

I’m no elite athlete, and in spite of my enthusiasm, I assure you, I don’t feel like running every day. 🙂  But, I can insert ‘writing’ or ‘work’ or ‘networking’ or whatever activity one might obsess over.  Resting is growing.  The body needs time to rebuild, and likewise the mind needs time to digest the information it takes in, to charge with new inspiration and to gain strength from joyful interaction with others.  I’ve learned that I need to schedule time to shut off work and writing, and be truly present in other fun activities–i.e. a movie or dinner with my family.

Rest is productive time.

Waiting is Training

“‘Waiting is training’ means that I can spend more time preparing mentally for my next session or fight, and less time physically exhausting myself.  By waiting, I’m sending a message that strategy is more important than pure physical power, that tactics surpass repetition, and that the brain is the most powerful muscle in the body.”

I experienced this with my blog this week.  Normally, my tactic is ‘full steam ahead.’  If I’m not happy with the traffic on my blog, I throw more posts at the problem.

That sounds violent…

I write more, in other words.  This week (also while reading GSP’s book) I realized that I was beating my head against the wall.  I needed outside perspective.  Instead of posting as usual, I needed to wait, ask writing colleagues to look at my site, and find ways to do things differently.  As a result I embarked on a site overhaul.  I had to wait instead of posting because I didn’t have the time to dedicate to both writing and redesigning.

I clarified my values and my goals in the process.  Now my efforts can become more focused.

You can learn from anything, I tell you.  I thought The Way of the Fight would be an interesting read.  I didn’t know it would be the best book I’d read in months.

Today I’m not running.  I felt like it, but I didn’t.  I am writing, so maybe this is a tad hypocritical.  BUT, yesterday I watched The Matrix instead of writing.  You know, a writer can learn a lot from a movie…

I just can’t turn it off, my friends.  I’m working on it!

Quotes from The Way of the Fight, by Georges St. Pierre.

The Best Days of My Life


The glory days.  I hear people talk about them.  I hear songs about them.  The year they won the big game, traveled to Europe, graduated from college, got married.  Those were the best days of their life.

I find that sad.  The best days?  Already passed?

I have this picture on my desktop of my sister and I canoeing, taken by my Mom at the front.  It reminds me of the fun I’ve already had this year, and that I’ll be working 50, 55 hours a week.  Not much time left for fun.  I fear that the best days of the summer have already passed.

Time is an odd thing, so easily spent.  I just finished a month and a half of unemployment–a long span of time with no job, or not much of one.  You think it would be great, right?  I could get so much done.

Yeah… not really.

I tried, honest I did.  I set my alarm so I wouldn’t sleep away my morning.  I pegged things off my to-do list.  I wrote (a little).  I visited family and friends.  And all that time, all I wanted was a job.

And I’m two weeks into working full time now.  My apartment is a royal mess ’cause I just have time for essentials.  Now I work all day and look forward to going home.  I’d love to have another week off.

Oh the irony.

So, I spend my days trying to get to the next thing.  Days become weeks, weeks become years.  I’m young, but I already look back and wonder where the years have gone.  And did I do anything with them?  What do I have to show for it?

How do I make my time count?  How do I not waste what I have? How do I make every year one of the best years of my life?

Well, I haven’t figured that out.  I’m not a guru.

But here’s my guess:  I need to know where I’m going.  I need to ‘begin with the end in mind’ as Stephen Covey says.  I’m just starting to figure that out.

As a person of faith, I believe I have been made for a purpose, and I have been tailor made (gifts, body, temperament, everything) for that purpose.  You may not believe the same way.  Whatever the case, I urge you to examine what you believe and why you believe it.  Examine your values.  What do you love?  What is most important to you?  If you are a Christian, I urge you to contemplate if your values line up with God’s values.

Write these values down, and start planning your life accordingly.  Purpose streamlines focus.

But, of course, it takes a healthy dose of discipline to carry out that purpose, and that’s where I fell short.

I started writing this article on my lunch break three weeks ago.  That afternoon I was in an accident (detailed in ).  Suddenly I was laid up for three weeks.

Sweet irony.

So, I got a second go, and I’m happy to say I did a lot better this go ’round.  I set to work on this blog.  I wrote.  I visited my Grandma.  I studied.  I read.  I went fishing.  Not all my time was spent on those things.  I also watched TV.  But, I made progress.

These days I’m exhausted from the shock of working a physical job after being laid up so long.  But I’m also riding a buzz of excitement.  I might be onto something.

So tell me, what are you doing to make your days count?