Work or Play? Pain or Pleasure? Can you even feel the difference?

When it comes to training, there is a lot to be said about moderation, sustainability and general caution. However there is a time and a place to get after it, and a time to take it easy.


I find the same to be true when it comes to getting things done and actually enjoying your life. As someone who was never handed anything, my pendulum had swung very far to the side of saving and working rather than spending and enjoying. I often talk about the pendulum swing and how you can identify trends that move away from each other. Example: Training only with Machines in one plane swings to doing everything on a balance ball. We can follow the cycles.


I love training and I love coaching. Learning new things and teaching people new things really lights my fire. What I’ve started to see is a kind of in-between limbo space that many people live in when it comes to work and play. The pendulum between the two is stuck smack dab in the center (Mine used to be stuck only on the work side which is equally bad). Stagnancy is the enemy and what you end up with in this situation is a space where you’re never truly relaxed or having a good time and you’re never really giving full attention to the work you’re doing either. This sucks the life out of both and turns you into a zombie. I felt it happening to me last month, there was always a work matter to attend to so I was in a state of constant semi-work-mode. Not a lot actually gets accomplished here but I was on top of most things.


How do you describe hot with no equal understanding of cold? How can you feel and appreciate the cold when you’ve never had heat? You need to have a bigger pendulum swing and you need to have motion between the two sides. Spend too much time in one position and you’ll freeze there–much like your joints if you don’t move them daily.

The physical side of this is that you see many people live in a state of constant low-level pain. We forget about it and it dulls over time. We ignore it and move forward, never really having the maximum quality of life that we could if we actually knew what it was like to feel really good anymore. The other day I ended up sitting all day on a plane and didn’t do my normal flexibility work afterward. The next day I felt like I had been tortured. I take for granted sometimes how well I take care of myself and it is times like that, where I am much more aware of how lucky I am to feel so good physically on a regular basis.

The take home message is that you need to have a bigger separation between work mode and play mode.

Work time? Get after it.

Play time? Get after it!

Don’t float in the middle.

I think this might be one of the main keys to feeling great instead of good, being productive instead of busy and being Better Every Day.