Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Advice We Carelessly Give

When you spend most of the working day on line and use social media tools like Twitter, IM, and so on, you catch a lot of chatter and tend to respond to it in line- that is, you see it and react to it all in one stroke.

I saw someone today post 'I'm thinking of skipping my workout' and I posted back 'Don't skip your workout.' I was trying to be encouraging, but it was probably the wrong response.

I was probably mostly coming off a very hectic day yesterday that saw me not even trying to get my workout started until 8:30 last night and finally giving up after a combination of my son wanting to play one of the games he'd just opened (birthday present) and trying to finish doing some work on my wife's Mac. It was the first day I'd missed this year.

A better response would have been 'Why are you thinking of skipping today ?' Turns out the person runs four days or more a week and just needed the down time.

It's funny how our own perceptions and experiences colour the advice we give- and let's face it, I'm not the guy you should necessarily be taking advice from. That's what coaches are for. Just last week I was telling someone that if their body was saying to take a day off, then that might be the best thing. After a day off myself, chastising myself for not trying hard enough to get my workout in, it was hard to think the same way. Then again, it was my son's birthday.

But it's true. Sometimes our bodies need a day off. Sometimes we need a mental health day. Sometimes, the chores are out of hand. And truth be told, sometimes when we think we need a day off, we don't.

Sometimes, we should just spend the day with the family and forget the workouts...

Figuring out which one is the truth is hard. Figuring out what's best for someone else, again, is what coaches are for.

All I know is this. on Monday, I did an extremely hard spin focused on hill work. Brutal. After a day off, I did another hard spinervals focused on hill work. I felt fresh, and I had the best back-to back workouts in a long time.

Even if they weren't back-to-back.

So take any advice I give with a grain of salt.

1 comment:

Trihardist said...

I run into that at work all the time. Fortunately, I usually have time to pause, consider who it is I'm talking to (is it Miss Three-a-day or Mr. Resolution-breaker?), and offer an appropriate response. But if I'm busy or my mind is elsewhere, I catch myself doing a knee-jerk. Hope it doesn't ever get me sued.