Over the weekend my husband and I had the rare chance to leave the kids with grandparents and go grab a drink by ourselves. It’s finally fall here so I was breaking out the boots for the nice 50 degree evening. I typically change my clothes/shoes at least 5 times before going out, so I go to change my boots: I’m standing up, I reach my right arm behind me and try to pull my boot off with my leg kicked back and pull something bad in my shoulder. It was that easy to hurt myself. If you can’t picture how I did it, think funky chicken dance.

I. feel. old.

This baby hurt all weekend, and no amount of ice or heat made it feel better. So here I am Monday with no swim to my name, veering from the plan I’ve done a pretty decent job of sticking to for the past 4 weeks.

I think an injury that forces me to take a day off would be easier to swallow if it felt like something real. Perhaps if I had fallen down the stairs, or wrestled and pinned down a lion that had escaped from the zoo…

But just, “I put my boot on wrong” feels like SUCH a lame excuse not to swim. Excuse or not, I’ve come to know my body and I know that getting in today would have just made it worse.

If you’re like me, taking days off when you’ve set a goal or a plan for yourself is hard. I feel guilty and lazy. I have to rationalize it in my head. I text all my friends and say, “I have to take off today, right? RIGHT?” 🙄 they all say to me…

As we get older, it’s easier to overdo a workout whether it’s in the pool or on land. A fellow Master swimmer friend of mine fell out of bed a few weeks ago and broke his ribs, but he still insists on showing up and getting 1,000 yds in. We’ve all been there.

I promise to try harder to take my own advise here but be forgiving to yourself. If you’re tired, it’s probably for good reason. Stop feeling that guilt we swimmers are famous for. If you really feel twitchy with a complete rest day – go take a walk or do a quick ab workout, but don’t overwork that shoulder or knee just for the sake of completion. Resting may be just the thing you need to get back in tomorrow and crush it.