I Took A Week Off Hiking… It Was Strange.
Happy New Year! It must be refreshing to be in a new chapter outside the book of 2020, whew!
To start the year, and to excuse my excusable munching behavior of the holiday, I decided to take a one week break from hiking. This would be the official first in four months. To add a tab bit of honesty, I made that decision on my way down from the trail on December 30th. My knees were singing blues to the sky, it was hot and throbbing, there was no escaping the aches to come. The only logical thing to do at the time, was to take a break. I told myself, “one week woman, one week!” I laughed immediately, as this was a constant thought that never seemed to fully develop past two days or three max. This time, I truly asked myself "why not extend it from the usual two days to a whole week? It’s pretty much the last day of the year tomorrow, and then New Year’s day! Plus, it is the perfect excuse to sit at home all snuggled up, mouth stuffed with delicious cheesy carne asada burrito, or beef shawarma, and a glass full of ice cold beer!" There was nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with that picture and I loved the thought of it. Plus, it was a personal challenge of sorts, to ring in the new year! This was going to be a one week break of absolute bliss and perfection.
It wasn’t. There was no snuggle doodle situation going on, it was weird.
The first two days were as expected, nursing my aches and stretches for recovery. Day three had me pumped and ready to head out, I remembered my bet to myself, I sadly slouched right back on the couch and sulked at myself, this isn’t fun. I decided to make the most of it and dived into meal prepping. This was delayed as most raw meals were frozen, I thawed them out in the fridge. With the extra available time in hand, I scrolled through my hard drive and realized I was pretty backed up on my videos. I had to get through several hiking videos, Christ! It was a lot more than I thought. I decided to rough cut every day, and sometimes pushed a little harder to finish a whole video a day. Luckily, I completed a few videos during this break.
My body felt different. Perhaps, it’s in my head but my rumbling belly begs to differ. It could also be a self detoxification or just an eager belly rumble as to why I am not moving as expected, I am not sure. What I do know is that I experienced a lot more bloats, constipation, and overall sluggishness this week. Granted, eating a lot more than usual on the surface could be the perfect explanation for it all, but even on no hunger days, I still felt swollen and just bleh.
Mind and desire was a trip. I longed for the trails, I actually had dreams about it. It was bizarre, I am not kidding, I had two nights of dreaming about the trails, hiking, getting to an unknown waterfall, it was very strange. I normally have dreams of hiking after a long exhausting hike but usually about the trail just hiked. This on the other hand seemed more like starting a new hike. I kept waking up, moaning to my displeasure. “I want to hike!”
I was able to incorporate some warmups by day five, I couldn’t take not doing anything exercise related anymore. After said warmup, I decided to push further and jog on the spot. Why not, I am already warm and pumping, I may as well get sweaty. It worked! I got the sweat, the adrenaline, the aches, and excitement, it felt good! I noticed a little off balance routine but I was also practicing against my usual timing of the mornings. Working out in the evening has always been a weakness of mine.
On day six, I had an incredibly long day of editing. It wasn’t as fun and I was bored. At night, I tried doing some warmups and was completely off balance. My neck ached, my belly incredibly bloated, this was becoming a nightmare. I didn’t feel motivated nor did I have any desire to do anything afterwards. I took out my acupressure pillow and pressured away at the aches, burn you bastards, burn!
I decided I won’t do this again or better yet, If I had to, no more cold turkey. One more day and I am back to exercising again.
The funny thing about this ordeal, was my realization that I unintentionally succumbed to the idea of zero workout for a week, instead of no hiking for a week. It’s funny, how my brain tricked its way to no workout and threw me in the slumber. I could have easily gotten on my foldable stationary bike and peddled away daily, or gone around town walking, or just some weight lifting, but I didn’t. I automatically retreated to doing nothing, why? I am not fully sure. Granted, I ran errands, went grocery shopping, and had a day of home workout, but that was about as much physical activity incorporated for a whole week. This wasn’t fair, it just wasn’t.
This one week break made me realize I still had a whole lot of work to do with breaking some of my negative auto habits. The idea of day off equals slouch off is not okay, at least not yet, not with me. It is not the idea of doing nothing for a day that is the problem, it is the idea that days off equals doing nothing. This can easily stretch out to a week like mine did or weeks. There was nothing wrong with me incorporating the thoughts of stretching daily to retain some mobility on my days off, but I comfortably shrugged it off. I can easily blame it on the facts of editing videos, but the truth surfaced on the only day of warmup which led to home exercise. It took all of 45 minutes and I garnered 7000 steps, while watching some favorite vlogs of mine. It was doable, I had no logical excuse.
With that being said, The positives out of this are humongous. I got grocery shopping done for the month, meal prepped for a week, edited more hiking videos, worked on my blog, chitty chatted with friends, daydreamed about my nearest future plans, pondered on what next in life, slathered my face with face mask and serums, acupressure, watched some strange foreign movies, and munched on some delicious delicacies. Not so bad per se.
It’s okay to acknowledge the negatives within the positives, it’s okay to point out errors and ways of self improvement, It’s okay to have days of doing nothing, days of zero motivation, and days of just being bleh! Most of all, it’s okay to accept that no one is perfect, and being the best and worst version of you intertwined is perfectly okay.
I had my first week off hiking in four months, and it was the strangest week in a while.