Thank you for following our fitness challenge. If you’re already participating, then thank you for that, also. We’re 11 days into the challenge, and I have to be honest – it’s sometimes hard to think of meaningful things to write about.

My message for today is this: be sure to build some down time into your fitness life. Be deliberate about it and refuse to feel “guilty”. I am realizing how this guilty feeling is kind of like a coffee headache. You know – the one you get when you don’t get your morning java. It’s a sign… of caffeine dependency – a symptom of an addiction.

So if you feel super guilty if you blow a workout, you might want to reset a bit and think about why you’re doing the workout in the first place. Perhaps you are on a short-term commitment (e.g., a month-long challenge like this one), in which case you sometimes will make temporary schedule changes and you might need a certain number of workouts to achieve your goal. Think about it: fitness is about wellness. If you are addicted to your fitness activities, they your wellness has a hole in it. Better fix that!

As a general rule, if you’re not training for the Olympics or some other elite competition (i.e., if you’re like most of us), feeling guilty and agitated for missing a workout is a sign that you may be taking it TOO seriously. I’m all in favor of being active, but we all need down time to regroup, both physically and mentally.

Be sure to take your rest and days off seriously. Have a good time laying around, or ice fishing, or whatever constitutes down time for you. And do your best to enjoy it!