As you might have gathered from my last post (I mean, if you read it), I’m pretty stoked to have a solid strength program backing my training this year. I had been missing this kind of structure for too long, and I finally feel like I’m making real progress. Last week was set to be my first deload week of the new program (sorry, Chris Moore, “unload”), and I was super fired up to dive into that next cycle.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men: in spite our best efforts, they have a tendency to go to shit (or something like that).
As it turns out, a playful little stomach bug has been making its rounds here in Halifax for the past couple weeks, and my girlfriend, compassionate creature that she is, welcomed it into our home (though I’m sure it was bound to find its way in at some point anyway). The virus and I had a talk, and we decided that I would spend the next four days lying in bed voiding my body of every trace of liquid.
Training was not high on my list of priorities last week. I had much more pressing matters to attend to, like writhing, whimpering, evacuating, and pounding electrolyte drinks.
Mercifully, the virus has taken its leave. I’m ready to resume training tomorrow, and for the first time in my life I don’t feel compelled to try to dive right back into my program. (All this “growing as an athlete” stuff must be working.) More and more I learn how crucial true discipline is to success in training: not just showing up, not just working hard, but being able to reign yourself in and slow down when the time calls for it. This is one of those times.
The funny thing is, if you were to ask anybody who has spent even a few months training if they should try to match their old performance after being out the gym for a while, they would probably tell you no! The gap between knowing and doing tends to be pretty wide in all things, doesn’t it?
With my ego securely in check, I’ve added a “re-entry” week into my program that closely resembles the first week of my next training cycle, just performed at a lower intensity. It won’t be as light as the deload week would have been, but I’m not so naïve as to assume a few days of lying in bed and barely eating didn’t come at a cost.
Tomorrow I will probably feel quite kitten-esque as I approach the barbell, but I will grind away with my eyes firmly locked on the tiger in the distance.