Sometimes You Just Need a Break

Most people who know me know that I am runner. It is what I do. I have been running for over a decade now — at one time to lose weight, but now it’s a part of me. When I don’t run, I feel “some type-a way.”

In over a decade of running, I have never had shin splints! I thought only beginners got shin splints. Apparently, I was wrong. Because of this foolishness, I have had to take a break from running to avoid further injury. Let me be clear, I probably had shin splints long before I stopped running. I felt the pain, but I just kept running. That’s what you do as a runner (at least, that’s what I do). Plus, it was never painful enough to feel like I couldn’t run. Then one day, I couldn’t run. I could not believe it! Me! I. Could. Not. Run. So, on that day when I thought I could get 5–6 miles in, I ran 2, turned around and then walked home. I was so disappointed in myself. I just did not understand what my body was doing to me.

Then, about a week later, I was back at it again. I just needed to hit my feet against the pavement. I needed my fix. I ran a couple times and here came that pain again, creeping up on me. I finally spoke to my running coach about it and got all the textbook stuff that you hear all the time. How old are your shoes? Were you running more than usual? Maybe your gait has changed? Blah, blah, blah. In the end, she gave it to me straight and told me to take a break. And because I heard horror stories (and read online) about getting stress fractures as a result of shin splints, I acquiesced and took a break.

Then I started thinking, should it have really been that difficult? Should it have really taken me close to a month to realize my body needed a break? I felt the pain. I knew what was causing it. And yet, I kept going — ignoring my better judgment.

How many of you do the same thing in your daily lives — whether it be in your work, your business, your exercise regimen, or your family/relationships? You feel the pain. You feel the weight. You know where it is coming from. You know you should stop and re-group. But you just keep going.

My fellow entrepreneurs, sometimes, you just need a break. And though breaks can seem like setbacks, they are really set ups for something better. Think about it. While you’re taking a break, you can use that time to recharge and assess your current situation. You may also find yourself paying attention to things you missed before. We get so busy trying to make 10 things work at one time, the one thing we neglect is the thing that throws us for a loop. So, I encourage you to invest some time in you today. Take a break. It will be just a matter of time before you are back on the grind again.

As for me, though it has been more painful not running than it was to run on my inflamed shins, it has gotten easier. And when I get back to running again, I’ll be refreshed and ready to beat that pavement like I never left.

Photo taken in Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC.