Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Lesson from the Wise Big Sister

Today, my Wise Big Sister offers another bit of wisdom.  This is the Wise Big Sister who wrote me letters in college with Bible verses in them (when I was very far from God).  This is the Wise Big Sister who prayed for me through every break-up, every bad haircut, and every rejection.  When I didn't get invited from the sorority sisters to pledge their sorority as a freshman, she sent me flowers with a card that said, "From Your Real Big Sister."

My Wise Big Sister continues to mentor me: 

In March, she instructed me to do the thing I don't want to do.
In June, she reminded me that when you're having a bad day, there's always the hope of flair. 
In July, she taught me that to get a great thing, you have to lose a great thing
In August, she sent me a message in a bottle to remind me of wonder.  
In October, she encouraged me to go to the gym.  
In November, she challenged me to be my own competition. 
Later that November, she explained that one can be spiritual and stylish at the same time.

So I text her that I feel burnt-out.  She simply says, "Train hard.  Rest harder."  She calls to explain my situation using a running analogy.  She repeats: "Every good runner trains hard but rests harder."  She explains that when you're resting, you really have to rest.  "No running.  You can cross-train, but you can't run."

She diagnoses my burnout as a metaphorical stress fracture.  "You ran when you should have been cross-training.  You didn't rest completely."  Cross-training means you engage in completely different and even opposite activities. Runners will swim instead, for example, when they rest but still keep active. In my life this means solitude instead of company; a movie instead of writing; a walk in nature instead of being plugged into technology; or being taught by a mentor instead of being the teacher. 

Different and opposite activities. 

We have to train hard and rest harder.

_____________________
Journal:  What would it look like to "rest hard?" What opposite and different activities will we do to rest completely?

5 comments:

Adrienne said...

As a beginning runner who just ran her first 5K this weekend, this is exactly what I needed to read and hear. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Wow, your sister is as wise as you are, Heather!! Wish you both lived right down the street!!

=) Mary

Melissa said...

Love this post!
Everybody needs to rest and recharge each week.
melis

Robin @ Pink Dryer Lint said...

Great reminder, both for physical rest and mental rest. It's apt for me after my first long race this weekend, too. (As was your post on Sunday about failure!)

http://pinkdryerlint.blogspot.com/2011/09/thirteen-point-one-reasons-part-four.html

sonya said...

Hope we can cross train together for the next few days! Can't wait to see you ~Sonya