This past Sunday was one of those rare days that found most Los Angeles residents hunkered inside. It was cold. It was pouring rain. It was also the first day of Daylight Savings Time, offering everyone the chance to stay in bed and sleep one extra glorious hour. So I did something a little out of character and called off the planned morning run in honor of laziness.
Most of the time, Crossfitting is the antithesis of laziness. You can’t really do one and be the other. But while I clearly think Crossfit is worth a lot of time, I’d also like to offer a defense of occasional laziness. As athletes, we can be a little more OCD than most people. We crave the feeling of satisfaction that comes with progress. We hook into the loop of sensations that come with getting stronger and getting faster, and after a while the momentum of that loop becomes addictive. We start enjoying the thought that getting up early, skipping sleep in favor of a workout, or showing up at the gym on the days when we feel fatigued or a little sick, is not only important but necessary – a badge of honor.
If you’re not careful, however, the stronger/faster loop may be entirely in your head, stealing attention from what’s actually going on with your body. Your body needs rest. It needs time to heal, reboot and rebuild to attain the strength you want. Denying it that time is a surefire strategy for injury and burnout. Similarly, your mind needs time to accurately reflect on your progress and areas for improvement, and to revise your goals and clarify your motivations. Otherwise, you’re on autopilot, without a clear sense of perspective or awareness of what you are trying to accomplish.
I don’t mind reporting that I spent Sunday doing a whole lot of nothing. On Monday I couldn’t help but notice that everyone seemed a little more relaxed than usual – a little quicker to laugh, a little less self conscious, a little more open to trying to push past a previous limit. Perhaps they were reacting to the sun finally reappearing after the rain. I happen to think that extra hour of sleep just went a long, long way.