Friday, August 31, 2012

Taking it Slow

Back to School!

Pace Yourself and Know Your Limits

Back to School!
It has finally arrived- the first week back to school! My mysterious absence on my blog and the title of this posts probably says it all. The first week at Penn- fondly called NSO (New Student Orientation)- is notorious for its endless frat parties, heavy day drinking, and best of all no classes! Needless to say it can get pretty raucous and I learned the hard way that my little body just can't keep up. After two nights going out relatively "hard" aka drinking significantly and staying out late my body decided it didn't want to take anymore and I slept through all of yesterday. So when I talk about pacing yourself and knowing your limits I don't necessarily mean it in the traditional way- being drinking slowly and knowing you alcohol tolerance. I literally mean know the limits of your body and how much activity you can physically handle. This lesson can be used in a variety of situations- whether it's partying at NSO, knowing how much you handle at work, being aware of how many responsibilities or tasks you can juggle, or your course load for the semester. Pace yourself and know how much you handle without burning out. I have already done this for the upcoming semester by only registering for 3 classes rather than 4 which would be considered a "full load." But I didn't anticipate needing to recognize limits for myself during the first week of school. I am nearly 23 years old. I have been drinking and going out for quite a while now. I know how much I can drink in one given night or over a period of time responsibly. But I too often forget that my body does not always want to go along for the lengthy, rowdy, and occasionally crazy ride. I still have 4 days of NSO left and after my 24 hr sleep I am ready to follow my own and advice and take it slow for the remainder of the week. I have chosen a quote of course to remind myself and you as well the importance of knowing the limits of our bodies and respecting them- 

"The human body is the only machine for which there are no spare parts."

You can't afford not to slow down sometimes-
- Hermann M. Biggs

We run and run and run, go until we can't take anymore, and stack burden upon burden on to our minds and bodies as if we are invincible. But the truth is there is only so much our bodies can take and when we push too hard we can break and when we break there are no spare parts to fix us. Unlike a car, computer, or any other machine humans have created that can be repaired to work like new our bodies cannot. Yes there are organ transplants and antibiotics and plenty of medical inventions to help restore our health but in truth we are never quite the same. After an operation or an illness there is a recovery time that we must allow ourselves. And even after that time has passed our bodies and minds remember the experiences. Replacing one's heart is not the same has getting a new front bumper. Ultimately it is up to us to get to know our own bodies and take care of them properly. Maybe it means taking one less class or taking a night off from going out with friends. Perhaps you are not a student anymore and your body and mind require different breaks, like using your vacation days for vacation or hiring a sitter one night to watch the kids. So maybe its not your first week back at school and maybe it is but either way the lesson is the same: pace yourself and know your limits (at school, at work, at home, everywhere!) We are not invincible beings so give your body a break and take it slow.

Be healthy and well,

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