My balcony door is open so that the refreshing sound and smell of pounding rain outside can infiltrate my living room. I have an anatomy test coming up on Monday. All week I have been working my way through the process of a muscle contraction and the activity that happens at a neuromuscular junction, and today I started throwing in the components of the neural tissue itself. Normally I wouldn’t have put studying on my list of things to do on a Friday evening. I’m young, cute, and should be out socializing. However, I’ve been so worked up about this test all week that I thought it would behoove me to add in the extra study time. In theory this was a good idea. However, the attempt was futile. To put it in climbing terms, it’s like trying to go work a project at the gym the day after you get back from a 4 day climbing trip. It won’t happen.
I have a tendency to not allow myself a break from certain things unless I feel as though I’ve deserved them. To some extent I’ll argue that this is okay; it’s necessary to put in the time you need. However, sometimes I take it too far, and instead of feeling like I need a break I’ll feel guilty about it instead. I’m getting better about doing this with training, but it’s been harder to make this adjustment with school. Part of that is dealing with the transition from 4.5 years of project-based classes to all book work. Maybe aside from chemistry, the book work is fascinating. I’ve basically been given a manual about the complex machine that is the human body, and while I find myself geeking about something different every day, it’s exhausting; and in the midst of learning mounds of material, I’ve been having to re-learn study techniques, which for me may require a myriad of different solutions. I haven’t really settled on one approach yet, though I’ve come to notice some consistencies starting to arise. One thing that I can’t seem to grasp though is that I am in fact, whether or not I want to believe it, actually tired come Friday afternoon. If I had to be honest, I think I had an easier time accepting the fact that there was no Santa Clause.
Like the body needs an evening to recover from a hard session at the gym or a trip outside, the brain needs that same ability to rest. Getting to the point, Friday night study attempts are in fact one of the worst ideas I think I’ve ever had. Thankfully, I usually learn from my mistakes. It took me about 2 hours after dinner last night to finally admit defeat and pack my things up from Barnes and Noble. Sheepishly I began yawing as I left.
After it’s all said and done, I’m okay with admitting defeat (though it’s a task in of itself to get me to do that part). On my humbling drive back to my apartment, I thought about my climbing session the other day. It was the hardest I’d climbed since I stated physical therapy a month ago. Again, I never had to completely stop climbing, but I’ve had to make adjustments and be extremely aware of the way my body is positioned and which muscles need to be contracting with each move I make on each problem. I wouldn’t call the last four weeks a break, but I wasn’t able to push myself. What I failed to remind myself of during my occasional sulky evenings was that my muscles were probably undergoing some much-needed recovery. This was evident the other night when I got on an old project and immediately pulled a move I hadn’t been able to a month prior. The same night I got in another harder send on a problem I had been timid to try. My back had been feeling better after a consistent rehab program (still ensuing), and I was curious how it might feel on a problem with a certain amount of lumbar extension. I felt…good, better actually than I had in a month, and the v6 went down in just a few attempts.
I was able to get a trail running treat last weekend also, another reinforcement that my rehab program is doing its job #myfuture. The last time I went for a run, it was just unpleasant. It made it even more reasurring having the most perfect weather accompany me that day as well.
I love the stubbornness of athletes, and at the same time it pains me to see it. No one likes taking time off from what they love to do…
While I continue to work on my special post (it will take a while unfortunately), check out Sending Sisters page for the Climb On, Sister blog! The writer does feature articles on female climbers who share their own stories, and I am the most recent!