Recognizing Overextension Before It Burns You


Last week I was on it. Sunday had me at the track, sprinting until the only ones left going were me, my BF/trainer and his cousin. During the week, I managed to get in a day of yoga and two days of total body training. Coming up on the weekend, my legs were a bit tight but I was rocking and rolling, no stopping me now! Even though I knew sprint training was coming back around, I decided that a bike ride – only ten miles I told myself – wouldn’t be too bad on a pretty Saturday afternoon. Mind you, pretty is relative; it was near 100 degrees this past Saturday. After I made the loop, admiring the lake and views along the way, I managed to drag myself back home and shower, all the while questioning my own sanity for taking those hills on my novice legs.

Before I knew it, Sunday was there, staring me in the face. Cool breezes stirred across the red clay of the track. I shielded my face with a hand, took a deep breath and prepared to burst into my first sprint – 200 meters. Pace yourself, said the trainer. Just as I go to “turn over” (another track term I’ve come to know) I feel a cramp in my quads. It’s nearly impossible for me to pump my legs, they feel like lead. The remedy given to me was to try some 40 meter sprints, to stretch out the muscle.

First sprint, fine.

Second sprint, an ever so slight but definitely unable to be ignored twinge hobbles me.

And I’m pissed.

I’ve never been a person who likes being sidelined. I can feel my irritation rising as I take a lap to determine how bad this hurts. As I walk, I think. I think about the feeling of stagnation, and how it affects your drive. Almost like a self-perpetuating cycle. The more stagnated you feel, the more powerless your situation appears. The more powerless you feel, the less you feel like your efforts matter. Ad nauseum the circle turns, until you wonder how you lost the desire.

As I do more toward independently curating and creating my career, it feels like a start-stop process at times. The patience and perseverance necessary to keep churning, go the distance and not get tired is immense. However, it is key from time to time to recognize where you might be overextended. Had I done that, I would have noted that my hips and quads were already pretty tight, and it may have been best to take a seat or a light jog rather than try to reproduce a performance from different circumstances. So, as I take my foam roller and get to work on massaging out the kinks, I also have to consider the kinks in my career path and how best to work through those as well, while maintaining a sense of grace and appreciation for the journey.

How did you work through your kinks, whether from overextension or impatience?

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