I've been training for marathons, half marathons, snowshoe races, etc., for at least ten years off and on. I do personal training. I take supplements. I do everything I'm supposed to. I work in fitness and health. I'm a massage therapist. My whole life is holistic health and prevention of illness. So what happens when the one who does it all gets sick himself? Well...

I haven't been sick in at least five years (to where I've missed two workouts in a row). And in the past, when I didn't know better, I would steamroll through and workout anyways (and then really get sick). Now, I've been home, in bed for two whole days. I would have thought that I would be going out of my mind by now. But I work up at 5 this morning, and I could just tell...there's no way I would have made it through the running and then leg workout that was to be after that. It's just going to have to wait until tomorrow. And I've struggled with that so much since I've fallen in love with exercise. I've gotten up the next day and climbed the elliptical and done upper body work the day after a marathon, just to get the blood moving. I've always done something no matter how painful or sore my joints have been. But this (I don't know if it's flu or what; general bodyaches and just tired). One thing I have not done much reading up on is overtraining. And I know, in the back of my mind, I'm probably lying here now because I went down to that fitness center too many days in a row for too many hours when I really needed a break.

For you guys like me, who work out alone, track your own progress, and sort of define yourself by your dedication to fitness, how often do you drop everything, walk away from the fitness center and just do nothing for a few days (even if you're not sick). When you work in fitness your mantra is keep going, keep going, keep going. It is so hard to hear it any other way. But I certainly think that the human body can only do so much and at some point we are not improving our health when we walk out of the gym exhausted thinking 'I have to do this all over again tomorrow?!'. Don't get me wrong. I love working out. It's the one thing that has remained consistent in my life - especially a life where nothing has stayed the same or stayed around for long. I know that my dedication to working out will always be there. But I've been thinking lately - and I'm sure a lot of you are feeling this way too - at what point do you need to completely change your whole routine?

Let's say that you are on a time constraint: your workday, for example, is afternoons and evenings. You have ample time to workout in the early morning/morning, but you want to make the most of it, so you have a specific routine you stick to every day: cardio first for an hour or so. Weights (one day legs, one day chest/shoulders/arms, legs the next, then chest/back/arms again). Then it's one last half hour running. When this fits perfectly into your schedule so well that you can set a watch to it, it is SO hard to change it up. But at the same time, I'm not going up in my weights when I lift. My bodyweight is lower. I feel tired. I feel like I have to do something different, but because I have become so comfortable with this routine, and because the time frame works almost perfectly with my day, I'm having a really hard time coming up with something new, effective, and most importantly, something that is going to make me walk out of that gym feeling renewed rather than lethargic. I don't really want to ask the other trainers for advice because I've seen them train clients and they're really geared towards those who are just starting a routine; I've been working out like this for many years. I need the advice of someone who has done the super long workouts, who has done the marathons, etc., and can help me come up with a routine that works well. I love leg day (from running my legs are my strongest, so it comes easy to me); cardio is fine but boring because it is so long; the days I hate most are back and arm days (my weakest). As far as abdominal work, last summer I began using that rotary torso (cybex) and I was so sore I could hardly twist the next day. Now i can do 8 sets at 130 lbs and not feel a thing the next day. So that's kind of where I'm at: time for a change, and I don't want to get sick again!

Thanks for reading guys!!