Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The art of recovery

Recent events have taken a toll on Cassie--and shown her the importance of taking time for recovery.

The art of recovery


Editor's note: This is the continuation of Cassie's story, the first part of which can be found here.

That commitment you make to training hard six days each week and reading the labels on every package of food, wary of sugar sneaking into your dried fruit, or worse, your bacon—is the same commitment that you must make to recovery. When I say “you” I of course mean “I”, since really this is my lesson that I am learning for the umpteenth time.

So how does one recover? What does that commitment actually look like? You can rest on your couch (and that can definitely be a part of recovery), but on-the-real recovery requires a plan.

Right now in my life, it means committing to my physical therapy exercises the same way that I commit to my strength programming - maybe even a <gasp> greater commitment to my physical therapy plan than to my strength program. It means doing a Mobility WOD with Kelly Starrett at least 4 nights per week (mobilitywod.com). It means some quality time with my LAX ball and actually using the Dixie cups of ice just sitting in the freezer waiting to be applied to sore traps. It means that some days are going to be 60% days, even when I’d really like for them to be 90% days. It means 7-8 hours of sleep - every night. It means listening to my body – and then taking action based on what I hear. It definitely means rest days.

This level of commitment holds true for my pops too. A year later, he's pretty much returned to his regular level of physical activity, but his recovery is a process. For him it means continuing the practices that he learned in his cardiac therapy. It means letting my mom sweep the driveway every once in a while. It means maybe only mowing half of the three acres when it's wicked hot out, even if he feels fine enough to do the whole thing. It means giving someone else a turn on the ladder, even though the gutters really need cleaning and he does it the best (he really does). And for him, it also means rest days.

In school they teach you to take notes because the act of writing things down helps you to process and internalize information, as well as to commit said information to memory. I have thought a lot about rest and recovery. I have read a lot about rest and recovery. I have definitely talked a lot about rest and recovery. Yet it is still a concept that I have such a difficult time putting into practice. Perhaps by writing it down, I’ll finally learn. I’ve invested so much in my training—years, money, blood, sweat, tears—and only a fraction of these resources have been invested in my recovery. The time has come to increase the investment. Now, where's my ice pack?

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.

About this blog

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Partner at Symetrix Sports Performance
Ellen Casey, MD Physician with Drexel University Sports Medicine
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Head Team Physician for Phillies & St. Joe's; Rothman Institute
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Head Team Physician for Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon for Flyers; Rothman Institute
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director of The Center For Sport Psychology; Sports Psychology Consultant for 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Team Physician for USA Wrestling, Consultant for Phillies; Rothman Institute
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer, The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician for Drexel, Philadelphia Univ., Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Julia Mayberry, M.D. Attending Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Main Line Hand Surgery P.C.
Jim McCrossin, ATC Strength and Conditioning Coach, Flyers and Phantoms
Gavin McKay, NASM-CPT Founder/Franchisor, Unite Fitness
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales and Hatfield, PA
Kelly O'Shea Senior Health Producer, Philly.com
Tracey Romero Sports Medicine Editor, Philly.com
David Rubenstein, M.D. Team Orthopedist for 76ers; Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center
Robert Senior Event coverage, Sports Doc contributor
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Athletic Trainer for US Soccer Federation; Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute
Thomas Trojian MD, CAQSM, FACSM Associate Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine at Drexel University
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