Thursday, May 10, 2012

Where's the Line between "Enough" and "Too Much?" AKA Stress = Burnout

Google dictionary defines the word "enough" as "As much or as many as required."  This definition makes total sense when actually given what is required.  For example, when I'm baking, I follow recipes.  If I'm making a cake that calls for 3 eggs, but I only have two eggs, I do not have enough for the recipe.  If I go to the store to get groceries, I have to have enough money to pay for what I want, or I can't have it.  However, the word enough only has a clear definition when "what is required" is cut and dry.  How do I know if I'm training enough? or too much?  Am I getting enough sleep?  Am I getting enough to eat?

Lately the line between "enough" and "too much" has become very fine when it comes to work.  I've always been a very hard worker and I only feel like me when I do things to my best ability.  In my own mind, there's never enough effort when it comes to working in a school. HOWEVER, my coworkers have told me that I should just stop putting so much effort in because the school years almost over and the kids don't want to learn anymore.  (Seriously?!  With 5 weeks left you just stop teaching now?).  Even the kids have said, "ughhh! You do too much!!"  Why am I the only PE teacher that doesn't think we should just let the kids decide what to do and throw a ball out?!  I can't grasp this!  PE should be a time to teach kids how to be physically active in a variety of ways and not just time to let them play if they feel like it.  While I know I'm right--I always am ;) --its so hard to teach the way that I need to teach when there are 130 students in the gym at one time, and no one else cares about teaching.  

Thank God I'll be out of the school after this year and getting back to the fitness world.  In the meantime, I'm having a really hard time deciding how I can teach enough for myself to feel like I deserve a paycheck but not "so much that it drives me crazy for the next 5 weeks.  Everyday I am completely stressed out because I have to go to school and feel like the butt of some very bad joke.  It sucks.  ...and usually, exercise is a great stress reliever, but for the past few weeks I've felt a lot like this:

In fact, it seems like the more I workout, the more frustrated I get!  So then the question arrises again--how much ironman training is "enough?"  I don't have enough time or energy to keep up with each and every workout in our plan so technically I'm not training "enough," but if I try too hard to keep up with it, I get stressed out and eventually feel like my body is breaking down.  Yep. That's my body saying that its too much.

I haven't found proof just yet, but I believe that people can only tolerate so much stress--either good or bad.  This has been quite the year.  Sometimes I'm not even sure how I make it through the day at the school.  It's almost a miracle when I make it to Friday each week!  So stressing my body ironman training can easily push my body to its breaking point.  

I've finally gotten to the point that I've decided that I just need to figure out what enough means for that specific day.  Today, it was a 90 minute ride on the bike trainer, last weekend it was a 70 hour ride, but sometimes enough is a short run or even a rest day.  I'm trying not to get stressed out about making sure that I'm following the training book to the letter because I know that in a few weeks when I no longer have to pull my hair out at the school, I'll have more energy to devote to the Ironman.  At least that's what I'm hoping!

For now, I have to go to bed so I can have enough sleep to do a morning run tomorrow.  Goodnight!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like Resistance is attacking you. That just proves how important both your training and teaching are to you. Maybe the volume and intensity of your training isn't so important. Maybe it's just the fact that you train when everything and everyone tell you it's ok to give up. If you can endure that for all the months it takes to train, you can endure those intense hours of the race, I think.