The dominant theme in my trampoline practice today was about the need to rest. All 3 of us in the 9 am class were feeling the effects of pushing too hard in various ways.
My coach rarely lectures, but today he had some firm words for some of us. For once, I was not the lead example of overdoing it, but I’m not naming names.
This is What We Love to Do
Keep in mind, we are there for fun. This is a hobby. A passion. I do trapeze and trampoline — and fight to get a spot in the Saturday 9 am class — because this activity fills me and fuels me. I’m not training for the Olympics or planning to join the circus.
And this is my point. Even when we love to do something we can take it too far.
Circus attracts a certain type of person: driven, disciplined, hard-working, perfectionist. We work on skills for years. There is always a way to take things to another level, a way to improve. Stay tighter. Twist or flip more cleanly. Circus is a microcosm of life — down to the lessons.
in fact, that’s why I started my weekly My Circus Life show: to share the lessons. I’m 73 episodes in and I have a long list of topics I haven’t yet covered.
If we are over exerting in our fun activities then we likely repeat that pattern in our work and lives too. I know this is true for me, and my circus friends, and my friends and clients beyond my circus world.
High achievers are found everywhere. And we tend to follow some consistent patterns.
One of these patterns is our resistance to rest.
Why Rest Is Important
For decades, our culture has worshipped at the altar of the workaholic. But there’s a growing movement spreading the message that rest is equally as important.
Among other things, rest is essential to growth. It’s not separate from the growth cycle. It’s part of the process. Nature builds in a pause: in the seasons, in the breath cycles, in our heartbeats.
The Price We Pay For Failure to Rest
Physically, insufficient rest can cause overuse injuries, like the way my forearms and wrists have been hurting from so much typing and writing lately.
At the extreme end, lack of rest can lead to illness, burnout or even death. Karōshi is a Japanese term translated as “death from overwork.”
This isn’t just about sleep. It’s about proper rest.
In my own life, I’ve learned the lessons about the need to rest so many times: I’ve had mono 4 times (yes, it’s possible). I used to get sick regularly.
A brain injury a few years ago finally forced me to learn how to rest. Or so I thought.
Even that wasn’t enough; last year I experienced extreme burnout.
And therein lies the challenge: as much as we know why rest is so important and the consequences we risk if we fail to rest, many of us still find it difficult to rest.
Why is it so hard to rest?
It’s great to see more people talking about why we need to rest. But knowing why rest is important is only part of the battle. Knowing why rest is important doesn’t help us if we don’t, actually, rest.
In today’s episode of My Circus Life, I opened up the conversation about why, even knowing how important it is to rest, it’s so hard to force ourselves to rest.
If you’re the type of person who must “force” yourself to rest, then this is for you. I shared some reasons that I or my clients have experienced and would love to hear your theories on this.
In service to my need to rest, I’ll let you watch the video instead of writing out the reasons here.
Watch the episode here:
After you watch, please share in the comments:
Do you find it hard to rest? And if so, why?