Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

Listening or Caving?


I drove all the way to class tonight. I parked, got out of the car, opened the back door, and reached for my duffel bag. I stood there a minute, breathing in the dark air. Then I closed the door, got back in the driver’s seat, and drove home.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep over the weekend. I was at the office until 4am Sunday night, and unlike my younger self, am not bouncing back quickly from such a disturbance in my sleeping pattern. I really wanted to go to class — weapons and tai chi, what’s not to love? But as I stood there, I could feel the exhaustion in every part of my body.

So I tried to listen to my body, tried to put its needs ahead of mine for a change. Hell, it deserves a break after what I did to it over the weekend. (Don’t get me started on all the crap I ate!) But there’s such a fine line between listening to one’s body and making excuses. Which was it, really? Was I just being lazy, or was I experiencing a rare moment of wisdom?

You guys must have these moments, too. When are we pushing too hard, and when aren’t we pushing hard enough? How do we tell the difference?

About the author

Jenn Reese


  • I'd say that when I have a moment like that, I'm being lazy, and when you have a moment like that, you're experiencing a rare moment of wisdom. :) (And that you can tell the difference by how many such moments there are, and which way their frequency seems to be trending.)

  • My old karate sensei used to say: "The night you don't feel like coming here is the most important night to show up."

    I used to buy that shit. 'Til I recognized:

    1. It's a transparent appeal to our machismo.

    2. Keeping students around is how he gets paid.

    3. He's a sadist.

    Good for you for listening to yourself. You'll get more out of showing up when you're rested and ready to go.

  • Having just run myself into the ground by not listening, I think you made the right choice. You’ll be back in class sooner if you don’t make yourself sick for week as I can sadly attest.

  • David — You are being too generous to me and too harsh to yourself… but thanks all the same. :)

    Jamie — I thought you were going to go a whole different direction when you started with that quote! Ha! You are so right, that so many instructors pull that machismo crap. Thanks for your support.

    Bruce — I did, in fact, learn from your example. I confess that your recent illness did run through my mind when I was making my decision. So, er… thanks? ;-D

  • Good job, sweetie. You did the right thing. How often do we really listen to our bodies? IMO, not often enough…and when we do, it's usually for stupid reasons. But your reasons were spot on.

    I missed you. But now I'm glad you weren't there. HUGS!!!

  • I am so proud of you for listening to YOU!!! Take care Sweetie and keep listening.

    Love you,

  • I have the exact opposite problem where I will eke out any excuse to NOT go to the gym even when perfectly healthy.

By Jenn Reese
Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

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