Coping when your aches have aches

Day three.

Physical status: My aches have aches.

Mental status: Not bad actually.

The last few days have been draining as one would expect. Thinking ‘I might do the intensive, it’ll be fun’ and then having it creep up so quickly was the real killer. It’s real. It’s happening. My body will be pushed past its limits and best not forget that I volunteered.

In the past year I’ve struggled with karate. It was always an effort and I always felt like hyperventilating or passing out. The problem, I found, was my diet. I wasn’t eating or drinking enough, mainly not drinking enough. Once my diet was fixed up it was less of a challenge getting through just under two hours of karate. It’s always been tiring, as with any physical activity, but with the proper preparation of eating and drinking, it’s less so.

For the intensive I’ve put a lot of focus on eating the right foods and drinking enough water throughout the day so that there’s no headaches, no lightheadedness or dizzy spells and definitely no hyperventilating. When undergoing something as tough as this intensive, you have to be on your A-game and take care of your body. Bodies are like cars; they need fuel to function.

And repair time. Sleep is just as important as food. I aim for seven hours minimum each night, but so far haven’t managed a nap during the day. Napping is one of the best things to do during an intensive like this, as your body has time to rest and repair before afternoon training. It’s just unfortunate that not everyone doing the intensive has an opportunity to nap in between the morning and afternoon sessions because it’s beautiful.

In the coming week-and-a-half everything will be tested physically and mentally even more than it already has. The aches of my aches will have aches and my greatest desire will be to sleep. But I can take solace in the fact that I’m not alone: everyone doing the intensive is in the same boat. And the boat is sinking. While on fire. It’s just a matter of swimming instead of sinking.