However, there is this trend in the workout world--push yourself. Hard. Daily.
Much of it comes from nauseating 'fitspo.' If you don't know what that is, don't look it up. I'll tell you--it's almost always an image of a muscular, lean and scantily-clad woman with some ridiculous caption like 'pain is weakness leaving your body' or some other such nonsense.
If you read my blog, you know I'm a fan of that burning, shaking feeling you get in a good barre class. It's true that strength building requires at least some degree of discomfort.
But you know what? Strength building also requires something else: REST.
That's when your muscles repair. It's when you rest. You need rest. I'm writing this from my couch. I'm wearing my warm, fuzzy blue robe. I didn't go to the barre today. Or yesterday. I have a head cold and a wonky shoulder.
I was tempted to hit the barre this morning. I'm doing a monthly unlimited at a local studio. It's tempting to go as often as possible to get my money's worth! And I love the barre! But not today. I 'late canceled'. That means I didn't cancel early enough so I lose the class. And I'm ok with that, because today, rest is more important. But that can be a hard call for some people to make, including me.
On one hand, wow! That takes a lot of diligence. And time.
But on the other hand, wow... that's over three months without a single rest day.
Fast forward another couple of months, and I'm attending a class at a studio affiliated with this brand, and I meet a sweet 25-year-old who saw the same Facebook shout-out. She has decided to try to do the same--100 classes in 100 days.
I'm trying really hard not to be her mother. She has one, and it isn't me. So I ask questions... why do you want to do this? Do you have any injuries? Are you sure this is a good idea? She tells me she just wants to see if she can do it. She says she's young. She 'should' be able to do it.
I try so hard not to give her advice. I try to be cool. But I can't help myself. "Don't get too hung up on the goal," I say. "Listen to your body," I say. "Don't push yourself everyday. Some days, just focus on the stretching," I say. I can't help myself.
I see her a few weeks later. I ask how it's going. She says she's so sore, but she's on track to complete 100 in 100. She says she lives in a state of soreness. But it's 'a good sore', she says.
And a few weeks after that, I see a post on Facebook. She's done it--100 classes in 100 days.
I'm noticing it's becoming a thing. 100 classes in 100 days. Posts are popping up from time to time. And the comments are all 'WOW!' 'You're amazing!!' 'Way to go!!!'
I don't know these women. They're all really proud of themselves, and the brand is over the moon! 100 classes in 100 days!
I struggled with writing this. Exercise can be so empowering, and I don't want to take anything away from these women who set a goal and reached it. But it makes me uncomfortable. Not so much that these women killed it. Like I said, I don't know them. This may have been a fine goal for them, safely accomplished, but I'm uneasy that it's institutionally celebrated. Is 100 classes in 100 days really better than 100 classes in, say, 114 days?
I don't think so.