Laura Witwer recently dropped this knowledge bomb on me and I liked it so much I wanted to share it with the world. 🙂 “It is awesome to train when you are feeling great; but what about when you are a little sick, or tired, or straight up grumpy? It is important to train when you feel bad, so you can still perform when you are not 100%.” Note that there is an important caveat (Laura insisted that I stress this). If you are not feeling well, don’t go crazy. This is not the time to be working your hardest trick 1,000 times in a row or to try a bunch of new stuff for the first time. But push your limits in a safe way. Have your spotter extra ready, but try your standard tricks and see how it goes. Without your usual strength, most of your tricks will be a little slower/lower and this is a good time to find workarounds for these things. Be extra generous with yourself on these days as well. If your tricks aren’t working, it’s probably not because they are broken but most likely because you are training while you are sick. Training when we are sick is something that is easy to just not do; you wont feel like training but remember, there will be a day when you are sick, tired, jetlagged, hung-over and you will still need to bust out your act. Just like anything, if you want to be able to do it, you should practice doing it. 🙂
It is easy to train when you feel great, and it is important to do so. You will see the most progress if you are training in peak conditions; but training isn’t always about making the most progress. As a human who lives an ever-changing life, I have found that being prepared for a wide variety of situations helps me be prepared for the ridiculous places I often find myself. For example, when I was competing in the World Championships in 2009, the floor was very squishy thus making all the wheels super slow. It was so crazy to look around me as people were training their acts and notice that EVERYONE was not making their tricks over. It was a huge learning experience for me, and I was so glad I had been training in a variety of spaces so I knew what to do to make my wheel slower/faster, (and of course so did everyone else there. Much to my chagrin, by the 2nd and 3rd day, people’s tricks were once again working.) Just as it is important to know what to do with a slow floor, make sure you know what to do with a slow body.
So next time you wake up feeling kinda crappy and grumpy and sick, don’t cancel your wheel class; get your butt up and rolling and make it work. You may not enjoy it as much in the moment, but even if it doesn’t taste good it is important to take your medicine.