Overtraining landed me in the emergency room a few months ago. That’s right. I was happy, healthy and stupid. I was so stoked about the positive results I was seeing due to my daily fitness regimen that I completely ignored the signs that my body was breaking down as the result of:
•Not recovering in between workouts
•Not getting enough sleep
•Not eating often enough
•Not feeling my usual burst of energy during workouts
I see a lot of social media posts and hashtags that proudly claim no days off as their credo. Well, I’m here to say it’s bullshit. I like results just as much as the next person. But not at the expense of my health. Mentally and physically I’d become so obsessed with looking good that I no longer felt good. Not to mention my appearance had begun to wane.
Unbeknownst to me I’d developed a rather severe upper respiratory infection. Preceding that diagnosis was a persistent cough that would not go away. I continued working out. Even attempting to treat my symptoms with an over the counter cough syrup. Cue the foolish bells now ringing. Finally after more than a week of no change and at my sister’s insistence I headed to the hospital.
Luckily for me my diagnosis was not tuberculosis, like they initially thought. At the time there was a tiny wave rippling through LA creating a health scare. Yes, I was freaked out to the point of tears. Texting my sister in between the battery of tests they were running. As always she was calm and reassuring. Sending up prayers on my behalf.
The doctor and nurse finally returned to tell me that my cough had turned into bronchitis because I had waited so long to seek treatment. I left the ER later that day with antibiotics and an inhaler compliments of the VA Hospital. Although I was sighing with relief I still wanted to know how soon I could work out again.
Turns out the doctor was an avid runner himself so he understood my zeal. But he warned me that if I didn’t take the necessary steps to ensure a full recovery that I’d be right back. Perhaps for an even longer stay next time.
I ended up being out for another week. Although I obviously missed taking gym classes, I enjoyed resting and getting back to some semblance of a social life. Not to mention my body’s physique improved. I’ve been able to maintain a healthier weight and develop muscle ever since.
I never ascribed to the whole no days off vibe. Ego caused me to get caught up in unhealthy habits. To those who do, I say to each is own. For me, lesson learned.