2021 · fitness · parenting

active recovery

One of my least loved parts of a hard workout is when, at the very moment you believe you’re about to get a break, the instructor shouts that you’re to get into a plank, jog on the spot, do slow squats or lunges – some sort of move – and announces “active recovery”. Of course, it’s just what I always need and I recover faster as a result, adjusting both my breath and my mentality to get through it and reset for the next high intensity portion of the session.

Ironically, it’s active recovery that also saves my ass in my day-to-day life – in those moments when I don’t just drop a ball, I drop them all. Like this past week – when I not only missed two messages but I completely forgot that we had a hockey game at 6pm on a Thursday evening.

It was about 4:20pm when I realized what was what and, at that point, I was still at my desk, working. We didn’t have dinner figured out. The gear was in the garage. The hockey kid was playing video games. The dog needed a walk and, as luck would have it, M was tied up with work (he finished his last call as I was writing this post at 8:50pm). I went into overdrive.

Get the gear inside and out of your bag. Have a snack. I’m walking the dog. When I get back, you can get ready and then we’ll leave.

There was a time when this type of screw up would have derailed my day. Totally unsettled me. There have definitely been occasions where this shit happened and I cried. But not anymore. Just like in my workouts, I adjusted my breathing and my mentality to get through it, reset, and prepare for the next part of the session.

And the next session just so happened to be the part where I managed the emotions of my kid who was, to put it bluntly, pissed.

He was frustrated at the last-minuteness of the news. He was frustrated by my harried, frenetic behaviour. He was frustrated that the night we had planned was now going up in smoke. And I couldn’t blame him because, honestly, I was frustrated by those things, too. So although I had to rein in my own frustration and recover, I also had to help him, too.

Because it’s never about dropping the balls and entirely about how quickly you recover, we successfully made it to hockey. And, while there, F had a two-point game with an assist in the first period and a goal in the second. He played his best game, maybe ever, and we celebrated with drive-thru burgers for dinner.

Will we need to employ active recovery from my slip ups again? Yep. But at least we know we can.

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