I have a very fond memory of going “running” with my nephew when he was around 3 years old. I announced that I was going running and he announced that he was going with me. My first thought was “Well there goes my workout for the day” and my second was “Look at that face, of course he can go running with me”. I mean he was (and still is) seriously the most adorable child. So we got on his tiny, super cool tennis shoes that lit up when he took a step, bundled him up in his little jacket and out the door we went. We were at the end of a cul-de-sac on a very quiet street, we looked at each other (I really had no idea how this was all going to go down) and the little guy rather solemnly nodded at me as if to say “let’s do this” and then all of a sudden started running as fast as his little legs would carry him. I had a moment of startled surprise, then realized I was supposed to be running too so had to catch up to jog slowly beside him. And then all of a sudden he stopped dead in his tracks, turned around panting with his arms up in the universal sign of “carry me”. I continued following his lead, picked him up and started walking. After a few minutes he was ready to get down and once on the ground he gave me the same solemn nod and was off to the races again. He again gave it everything his little legs had until he had no more, then stopped as quickly as he started for me to carry him again. I’m not sure how many times we did this ‘interval training” but it was the best workout I’ve ever had.
I recently had this memory come to mind as I was thinking about the pace we all go at in life. The problem is that so many of us don’t know when it’s time to stop. We go as fast as our “little legs will carry us” but never stop to rest, let alone ask for help (please carry me for a bit, I’m tired)! We ignore the signals that we’re out of balance, tired, burnt out, exhausted and push on until we stop alright, but it’s more of a collapse. We wake up not wanting to get out of bed or we get sick so we can’t get out of bed. I had the realization recently as I've started this new career that it wasn’t entirely my previous job that had me working so much…it’s me! I was doing it again. Love what you do, absolutely run at full throttle and give it all you’ve got! The key here is the “rest” part of our interval workout. To know when it’s time to rest, to rejuvenate and refuel with hobbies and interests that bring you joy, time with friends and loved ones, to get that coveted 8 hours of sleep. Working these “rest” breaks in throughout our day and not trying to cram it all into a beach vacation 3 months from now. How will you get your interval training in today? Do you need to ask for a little help? Know that I loved carrying my nephew when he needed it and there are people around you that would love to do the same for you when you need it.