To Push Through The Pain? Or Not


It’s 2:20 am and the biffy is calling my name.  Sadly. . . I can’t get out of bed. Every muscle in my body hurts; abs, thighs, arms, neck, you name it.  I was not in a serious car accident, no.  I did not run a triathlon.  Nor, did I do hard physical labor all day.

I worked out this week. . . not once, but TWICE!

About every other month, I decide I need to get in better shape, ummmm. . . I mean, in shape.  I usually only walk a few of times a week during the school year otherwise, so when these urgent calls from my body tell me to pay attention and strengthen up, I tend to jump right in and try to fix it.  Too much, too soon, too much pain.  Then, what do you think finishes off the cycle?  Yep, I rest and kinda quit.  And, the cycle continues.  Been goin on fer years now.

I wasn’t always this way.  Throughout my first 40 some years of life, I was obsessed with exercise, my eating, weight, and perfection.  Then,  a surgery that put me down.  I softened.  In a good way.  And, I started liking who I was becoming.

So, now, almost 50, I’m listening more to my body and she’s telling me I have zero core strength, I’m pretty weak and my flexibility is nadda.  But, keep up the walking – daily, Lady.  Oh and by the way, your arms are starting to look pasty and, well. . . whatever, you are almost 50.

Well, that kind of talk gets me riled.  I become driven to fight back, so I pop in those DVD’s and do everything that perky young thing tells me to do.  Push-ups? Sure.  Squats?  You got it.

Here’s the rub.  Now, my body is cuuuuu-rying!  First, she wants it, then she doesn’t.  She says to push through it and then she says to rest, it’s too much.

My daughter Lauren, who is 25 and a wellness coach, scolds me, “No pain, no gain, Mom. Push through it.  You gotta keep it up or you won’t see any results.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I tell her.  I’m her worst client.  But, I can be that way to her.  I’m her mother.  She rolls her eyes.  I’m sure I frustrate her. She says these words with love, but it’s my own voice that I hear in the background. Yes, that’s her in the photo above.

My friend who is my age consoles me, “Shar, we aren’t 25.  We’ve been down that road.  Accept who you are.  We are ok.”

I love my friend because she understands me and where I’ve been, and my daughter IS only 25.  I should rest.

But, the whole world screams, “NO EXCUSES! YOU ARE ONLY AS OLD AS YOU FEEL.”

It bothers me that I even spend time thinking about this when I could be doing something constructive, like writing or reading.  It all seems so ego-driven.

Bernice. (said like Seinfield says Newman)

I’ve grown wiser with age and have learned to not strive for the perfect anything anymore.  I just want to feel good; mind, body, heart and soul.  If any of these “friends” is left out, the others suffer.  It’s a constant state of mindfulness I need to be in, always checking in with each.  Wait, I hear a small voice of reason. . .

“Just move your body, Shar.  It doesn’t matter what you do.  Move.”

Aw, somebody with sense.  Heart and Soul are speaking up for Joy, my body.

I think I’ll just go for a walk today and do a little yoga. 🙂

Who do you listen to?  Do you push through and work through the pain?  Or, do you rest – and forget what you started?

(And, this doesn’t just pertain to exercise, you know. . . )

Shari 🙂

4 thoughts on “To Push Through The Pain? Or Not

  1. How lucky are you to have a daughter in the get-in-shape biz! I am a little bit over fifty…not much. Every summer since I have been a teacher I make a promise to keep “moving” throughout the year–NEVER happens! Ugh. You are on the path to enlightenment (as my 20 something yogi says) with yoga. The older I get the more I depend on yoga to keep in flexible shape. It seems to be gentler on the (older) body. My school gets out this coming Friday, so I’ll be “feeling your pain” next week. My yogi says teachers are the worst clients–everyone in their life comes before them. Not totally sold on the “No pain, no gain” thing. Or maybe I have just gotten lazy in the later years.


    1. Oh gosh, Dawn, you are totally understanding my journey. Your yogi is right on with us teachers. We find it so hard to get our priorities straight and put ourselves first. If we are not in good working order, then we are very effective in our work, are we. I’ll be checking on you next week to see if you are pushing through the pain or pulling back. :0)


  2. Shari – All I can say as I approach the age of 56 is that “pain” is your body’s way of telling you that you have pushed it too far. A little ache and a little pain is okay, but if you get to the stage where you can’t walk properly, can’t sit down or get out of a chair without every muscle in your body screaming out in pain, then you have pushed too far.

    Remember Jane Fonda’s Workout which I actively did for a year or so “Feel the Burn!!” she used to say. Now she admits this was totally the wrong thing to do.

    Go with the flow I say. A little exercise is okay but I sometimes think younger people these days are far too obsessed with the whole exercise and get fit routine.


    1. Oh gosh ~ Jane Fonda was my idol. I can still hear her saying “Feel the Burn”. Now, I know the burn means “Back Off.” I am the moderatation queen now. If I hurt the day after I do something, I turn into a very good wife for myself and do a little pampering. 🙂

      We are so wise, aren’t we?


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