Empty Tank?

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 Your tank is empty because you drained it.

While driving my car I tend to forget all about my gas tank UNTIL the red light goes on and alerts me to the fact that I am running low on gasoline. I respond according to my personality by waiting a day or two “certain” that I’m not that low and the car can run a little longer.

Unfortunately, so many of us run ourselves that same way with the exception that the  warning that we are “getting low” on fuel may look like exhaustion, challenged relationships, a health crisis,  or even depression.

Just like in my car I am the one responsible to fill up my own gas tank.

Emails, phone calls, to-do lists, and texts force us to continually engage in on-going information 24-7.  When are we done with work?  When will we walk away from all the “screens” in our lives and take a walk or engage in a hobby that re-fuels us? Perhaps today we need to declare out-loud ” I give myself permission to rest.”

As a Coach I often use the example given on the airplane by the stewardess: ” in a crisis place the oxygen mask on yourself before attempting to help anyone else!”  Have you made yourself a priority on your calendar? Do you have weekly practices that keep your “tank” above the EMPTY line? What are the activities that drain your “tank”?  Is there anything you need to stop or start in order to maintain a healthier balance?

Take a moment today consider your energy level.  Is there a RED LIGHT on that you are ignoring?   Remember, you are responsible to manage your own “gas tank” so “Fill’er up!”  🙂

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Spin Class~

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Up at 5am, I am blurry-eyed as I grab my Spin Shorts and tennis shoes! With the loving encouragement of my Daughter in law who joins me; I hop in the car and head to the Athletic club for the early morning Spin Class.

I have noticed something about me; if I think about an hour of Spinning I feel overwhelmed by the daunting ride ahead. However, as the instructor leads us to ride in intervals time just flies!  When we are asked to push HARD I am sure I can do it for 3 or 4 minutes knowing there is an end in sight.

There is a part of a Spin class that I didn’t anticipate and that is the value, the necessity of what the instructor calls “Recovery”. This is when we’ve pushed really hard for an interval and we are asked to remove any bike tension making it really easy to pedal. This allows our heart rate to go down a little and helps with the lactic acid in our legs. Then, after a brief recovery, we up the pace and the tension and we ride hard again.

This morning I was thinking about the need for “recovery” in our lives.  How often do we push ourselves in our lives without taking dearly needed recovery time? We keep working harder, moving faster, all the while hoping we can sustain the pace. However, the only real sustainable way to have a healthy, fruitful life is to have the ebb and flow of hard work and “recovery”.

What could recovery look like in your life? A long walk, painting, mountain bike ride, a nap, reading a book, time with a valued friend or family member, a slow cup of coffee, time spend in your Bible, or going on a long run?  Think about the pace of life you have been managing lately and see if you need to insert a little more recovery into your calendar.  Give yourself permission to step away and catch your breath.

I know for certain that if my Spin instructor required us to maintain a high intensity for the entire hour, many of us would not return, some might simply pass out. I am thankful for “recovery” after a revved up interval……………..even if it is 5:30 in the morning! 🙂