Coach Tip Tuesday: What if you only had one car for the rest of your life?
What if you only had one car for the rest of your life? Yep, I’m serious….just one car for the rest of your life. You’d probably go to great lengths to take care of that car and make sure that it stayed in good working condition, wouldn’t you? You’d put the best fuel in it, you’d keep up on its maintenance, and if something went wrong, you’d fix it immediately. You wouldn’t want to break it permanently and risk not having it to use for the rest of your life.
Thankfully, you do have the opportunity to have more than one car over the course of your lifetime. What you DO only get one of, however, is your body. Despite this, I continually watch athletes treat their body like it is something that is disposable and replaceable. Among other things, I see athletes training through injuries, existing in denial when something is wrong, failing to fuel properly, etc.
Why is it that we will take such good care of inanimate objects that are able to be replaced, but we don’t see our bodies in the same light? Perhaps it’s because the human body is a very resilient machine that is capable of great things, including a decent amount of self-repair. Maybe it’s due to the fact that we are stubborn creatures and believe ourselves to be somewhat invincible. Or maybe, it’s because we don’t actually see the body for what it is: irreplaceable.
Undoubtedly, every single one of you (myself included) knows first-hand that the human body can be pushed to extreme limits without failure. You can break bones, and they’ll heal. You can consume food products that don’t have much actual nutritional value and still survive. You can go a few days without adequate amounts of water and still be alive. You can short-change yourself on sleep and still wake up to get along with your day.
While the human body CAN survive all of these things (and more!), that doesn’t mean that it should have to. Every day, we ask our bodies to do millions of actions - everything from walking to keeping our temperature regulated to breathing to digesting our food. And, almost 100% of the time, our bodies do every action that we ask of them. This is nothing short of absolutely remarkable. But, when the day comes when the body starts to falter a bit, it’s important that we listen and take care of it.
So this week my challenge to you is to treat your body like the precious gift that it is so that you can continue to pursue your goals and dreams. Honor it. Respect it. Treat it well. And it’ll treat you well back. :)
Coach Laura Henry
Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.