Exercise ebb and flow: sometimes you need a gym-cation

my muscles were not only sore and tender but I was cranky, exhausted, and sad. I figured a large meal, a hot shower, and a nice long nap would cure these ailments but two days later, I was still hobbling around, still overly tired, and still feeling incredibly emotional.

“Caitlin, your body went through a lot of trauma. It has to have time to heal itself. You need rest,” said one of my classmates.

So, I did exactly that. I gave my body lots of rest and relaxation which manifested into a three month hiatus. Now, I'm completely out of shape, horribly unmotivated, and entirely disinterested in anything involving physical activity. I pulled every excuse in the book to avoid the gym:

I don’t have time…

I’m way too tired…

I think I’m getting a cold…

My knee feels sore…

I don’t feel like it…

With my school semester over and summer break upon me, I’m now faced with a lot of downtime combined with limited funds. A year and a half ago, boredom and lack of money is exactly what motivated me to start running. I can only hope it will motivate me again.

Whether or not we like to admit it, there is an ebb and flow of exercise.  Everyone goes through exercise lulls and cheat streaks. Heck!—Even professional athletes have an off-season.  Last year, I wrote about instinctive exercise and why it isn’t instinctive for us to be physically fit.  At the time, I’m sure I wished I were a natural-born runner, like a Tarahumaran.  But lately, I’ve wondered if it is healthier to let your body have a nice long rest.

After dedicating an entire year to my health and fitness, I fell off the bandwagon.  Six months ago, nothing kept me from going for a run or heading to the gym.  But the last time I truly broke a sweat was February 28, when I competed in the Publix Distance Classic Gasparilla Half Marathon.

While I spent months preparing myself for the physical demands of the race, I hadn’t expected to face the emotional and mental demands. After the race,

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