Yesterday, I could start to feel a cold coming on. It’s that time of year, and I’ve been pushing myself. Of course I immediately started my “go away, Cold!” regimen of Cold Calm, elderberry extract, and vitamin D, but last night wasn’t pretty. I was awake a lot of the night, coughing, sneezing, and feeling my throat get tighter and tighter.
By the time I woke up this morning – having thankfully finally fallen back asleep around 4 – I knew I didn’t have a voice. I started to suspect that maybe it wasn’t a cold but the flu, which in me manifests with laryngitis every single time (except last year). I was tired, cranky, and it hurt a bit to breathe.
My favorite Zumba class is on Mondays at 9:45, and I really wanted to go, as this is my only chance now to take a class with this instructor since my gym changed things around again. At the same time, I wasn’t sure how well I’d do in her up-tempo class, and the last thing I wanted to do was bow out partway through.
So I had a dilemma.
As much as I love going to the gym, there are good reasons sometimes to skip a visit. When it’s an illness that affects your breathing? Skip the workout if it’s aerobic, though I’d still go walking in that case. If you have a fever and feel lightheaded? Total rest. It isn’t worth injuring yourself or making yourself more sick. Sore throat? Generally I’ll go if I’m reasonably sure it isn’t contagious or it’s something minor that’s floating everywhere already. I don’t want to be the one who gets people sick when they wouldn’t have otherwise. If it’s something that a little Sutafed takes care of, I’ll still head to the gym, but maybe I won’t work out quite as hard.
I’ve learned the hard way that going to the gym when I’m sick isn’t the best idea. I’ve gotten more sick and been out more days than I might have otherwise. I’ve tried to keep up with my C25K program so that I stay on track only to find that I can’t make it through a run that a week earlier had been a piece of cake, gasping and wheezing and ultimately frustrated with myself.
When I’m sick but not too sick, I finally figured it out. I need to go for that walk instead of running or a Zumba class. That’s the day to look for a yoga or weights or Pilates class that isn’t as intense or one where I can go more at my own pace without feeling like I’m missing out on the purpose of the class.
Today? I stayed home. I continued with my “go away, Cold” regimen, and after having some tea, I actually felt better. My sneezing is gone, and I don’t have the drippy snuffly nose. My voice is coming back, and I’m not coughing. I’m not 100%, but by 10am, I definitely felt better. And I sort of regretted not going to the gym.
It’s now a little after 1pm, and I’ve been focusing on getting things done around here, being productive. And I’m exhausted. My eyes are getting heavier, and I am starting to slow down. Once again, skipping the gym was probably a good decision. Even if I were still feeling chipper right now, I can’t regret the decision that was right at 9:30am when I would have had to leave for the gym. Second guessing doesn’t do me any good, and I have to listen to my body.
Tomorrow, I’m hoping I’ll be well enough to make it to the gym for my class, but today? Today I was definitely too sick for the gym, though. What is your barometer?