For those of you that have seen The Big Lebowski, you will appreciate the following quote (edited for our young readers). “Saturday, Donny, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don't work, I don't get in a car, I don't *bleeping* ride in a car, I don't pick up the phone, I don't turn on the oven, and I sure as *bleep* don't *bleeping* roll!”
Although I’m not Jewish, I think this is applicable to most athletes and their day of rest. It’s a hallowed day for us - free of the stresses of training. We can sleep in, relax, watch a movie, go to Hobby Lobby or whatever else religious people do on the Sabbath, Shabbos, etc.
I take my rest days just as seriously as I do my bike training. I’ve been told that there’s no such thing as overtraining, just under recovering. I don’t know if that’s actually based on scientific fact or just something people tell me to trick me into going to Hobby Lobby. But I do recover hard. And it pays big dividends. What do I do that’s so important? Well, a strict schedule of movie watching, napping, reading (preferably in a hammock when the weather’s nice), Hulu, more napping, massage and eating, followed my another movie are on tap for my recovery days. See what I’m talking about? That’s all important stuff!
What’s the down side of taking recovery so seriously? You might even ask how could there be a downside to resting, but I digress. Sometimes, my rest schedule conflicts with things like weddings, school activities, and world championships. The Paracycling Track World Championships are set for November 5th through 8th in Manchester, England. That means two of my events fall on Saturday and Sunday, the Jewish and Christian days of rest.
Since I’m not a particularly pious person (although I am considering joining the Order of the Eastern Star after reading Dan Brown’s latest novel), my personal Shabbos is on Monday. Phew! No racing on Monday! Close call! That would have been awkward, not to mention a tough conversation trying to explain why I couldn’t race Worlds because I had to stick to my rest schedule - don’t want to be under recovered! As athletes we have very strict training (and recovery) regimens and something silly like a competition can’t get in the way of that!
*Credit for this idea goes to Clark Rachfal, one of my teammates, and very serious recovery-er.
** I wrote this for the OTC newsletter, and thought I'd share it with all of you outside the fishbowl.