Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
February 26, 2017
Here is what has been happening to me this past week…lots and lots of overtime. You see, the company I work for decided to finally whip out some Unlimited Data packages, and needless to say we have been getting tons of calls about the sudden change. Of course, there are a lot of intricacies a lot of people don’t know, and a great many people leave the phone conversation rather disappointed. Now of course, if you have a ton of people on your plan and a ton of data, you would certainly get a ton of use out of it. That’s a lot of tons. Anyway, couple with some other changes that adversely affected the company, we have all been forced into overtime for the foreseeable future. It’s already been three weeks since this thing started, and no announcements have been made when we will be off this system. Anyway, these last few weeks have been tough. Even though it has been just a few hours a week, the mental wear and tear has been getting to me. Having to talk out of the side of my mouth and explain over and over why a certain thing is costing this much, it can get pretty boring. On top of that, we have to be cordial and constantly reiterate certain things when it seems some people are getting upset. Throw in the fact you are getting people that are angry for the sake of angry, and you have to deal with this sort of stuff for hours on end. I have been learning a lot this week, mainly because there have been some unusual things that have been thrown onto my head. I actually had to help give information to the police about a possible revenge porn situation. I had to tell a guy the 1400 dollars in long distance charges were legitimate (mainly because we told him this!). I got yelled at for nearly 20 minutes about the cost of the billing before the customer wouldn’t even let me explain to him how I could make some simple changes and save him 90 dollars a month (which I didn’t even get an apology for the behavior). And then you get the person that knows absolutely nothing about their cell phone, and I had to pretty much hold a seminar for the said person for a good 40 minutes (and no, this was a Samsung user, not an Apple user before you start hurling judgements).
Needless to say, some things came to a head for me on Thursday. I didn’t get to my workout. For the first time in months, I actually missed a workout and I felt kind of yucky about it. The previous time was because I was really sick and Jon pretty much quarantined me. So that was a legit excuse. Thursday was not that legitimate. I got out of work at 5:15 or so, barely got home around 5:40 and by the time I tried slipping on my shorts and shirt, I just collapsed on the couch. I just had nothing in me, even though I had been sitting down all day and virtually doing nothing but talk. I texted Jon and said I just wasn’t gonna make it. Now some of you might think this is an excuse, but let me just put it to you this way….mental fatigue can be dangerous. During this past week, I was also trying to recover from some dizziness due to the lack of B-12, and that was really not a good time for me. I was clearly not in a good place, and I kept my weights at reasonable levels so I wouldn’t hurt myself. This was something that was extremely necessary, for I did not want to injure myself and find myself missing a day of work (trust me, that is the first thing I was thinking of this week…especially since I blew my off time for Ragnar Del Sol). There really is no shame in admitting that your mind hit a wall. I have been running into this a lot myself, for my running has been down because of my weak mind overworked and lacking rest.
One thing is for certain, fatigue is something I have never really actually looked into. I always figured that fatigue came in the form of too little rest and too much work. I always felt fatigue was a condition that was the result of pushing yourself too hard and not having the ability to meet those physical demands. For the most part, I believed this was the central reasoning behind a lot of my life’s problem. My weird relationship with binge eating and food allowed me to tackle some of my problems quite easily, mainly because I would gorge so much that I would be forced into a sleep status…problem solved with my sleep problems and tiredness! Of course, I realized the bigger problem was the fact I was falling asleep with too much food in my system, giving me heart burn and reflux, and even causing me to wake up in a panic when the reflux had this harsh and burning sensation that caused me to cough. And then this would mess up my patterns even more, because sometimes I would stay up late due to the full feeling and disrupt my sleep patterns even more. It was a vicious cycle I tell you!
Obviously, the main cause of fatigue for me was pretty muti-faceted, for the fact I was not taking my B-12 to the fact my diet was rather inconsistent from a schedule standpoint. Throw in my additional work hours and the stress from the last couple weeks, and the reasoning behind my recent problems could be fully explained. Now another thing that was causing some fatigue in my body was the fact I was staring at a computer screen all day long. I mean, when you think about it, focusing all day can put a mental wear on you. From a clinical standpoint, my self diagnosis is not too far off. My inconsistent movement, especially in regards to sitting down all day long, can cause some issues with the body being in too much of a rest state. Without any real movement in the system the body is not getting enough oxygen into various parts, which is why when you find yourself sitting for a long time and then getting up really quickly to celebrate a touchdown or just to get up, you find this rush in your body that might make you feel tired for just an instance. Now imagine going through that multiple time a day and you will understand the plight of so many people in this country who are working jobs that force them to sit down a lot. This is why I have been having so much trouble. When you find yourself sitting down for over twenty minutes at a time, being asked just about every question you can imagine, reigniting the body in between calls is rather difficult. I usually try to stand up an get a little blood flowing in my body between calls, but trust me, when you have all these long calls, sometimes you are mentally worn out and just keep sitting. There was one point during my shift on Thursday that I sat down for nearly three hours straight, helping out person after person. I might have self inflicted my own fatigue due to this.
My situation on Thursday was certainly a result of mental fatigue. With my brain having to constantly work for hours on end and solve so many problems, it was no wonder that my body broke down. But how does mental fatigue really affect the body? Well, when your mind is not working properly, do you think the rest of your body will? Like I have mentioned earlier in this blog, it might have been a good idea that I did not go to the gym after all. When you are having trouble with your focus, you are going to lose your mind and create some issues with whatever you are doing. While I might not have tried to do some crazy things that day, I might have gotten lazy with my form or I might have let my mind slip for just a moment. Trust me, letting your mind slip led to some rather expensive problems for me, one being a large ticket for speeding home while coming back from Ragnar Del Sol and the other being the accident I got into after working for 13 hours straight. It both instances, I lost my mind for just a few seconds and in those lapses, plenty of traffic points were added to my name. Of course, the idea that I was tired and lost my brain for just a few seconds is typically not a very good excuse.
I can only imagine what would happen if I had made a mistake at the gym. It’s bad enough when you nearly drop a weight on your foot or miss a rack holder for the bar, causing a momentary imbalance in your life. Those are certainly bad things that could happen, but when I am talking about is when you do things that are not meant to be, like using bad form to get that bar up for the snatch or trying to bulldoze through a whole bunch of deadlifts at a weight you cannot really handle. Fortunately I usually have good supervision, and that is why you should have a spotter for much of the work you do. Fortunately for me, I am already seeing some progress in my condition this week, for I am feeling much more alert and I did not feel like dying when I did a short run on Friday and Saturday, trying to sneak in some last second training for Del Sol. But like I stated in the previous blog, I have had to increase my eating a little, especially since my calories have been rather restrictive during lunch (plants are definitely good for you, but having spinach, carrots and blueberries doesn’t quite fill me up like it should…especially when you have a light breakfast).
Fortunately I am not looking like a chronic fatigue case…at least for the time being. I will admit I did get some decent sleep the last couple days ,so that has really helped with my recovery. Missing out on a session also proved to be beneficial, for who knows how much food I would urged on when I got back form the workout session on Thursday, provided I had gone. I’ve also been looking for some other methods to rest my mind during the day at work. This past week, mainly out of necessity, I have been taking short naps during my lunch time. Of course, this means I will have to skip out on a lot of social media reading, at least it helps give me a little pick-me-up right the middle of the day, the part of the day where things start getting really stressful because people will be entering the end of their work day, and are all lathered up o make some angry phone calls. Okay, I admit, it is usually not all that bad, but it can be bad. At least I got a marriage proposal from some lonely woman in Glendale, Arizona this past week, which I might have at least agreed to a meet-up if she was from Tucson. Trust me, she was that nice and grateful!
Anyway, the week is winding down once again, and while I only got in two workouts, I will be ready for the next week with plenty of due diligence. With Ragnar only two weeks away, this means I will be doing a lot more cardio work and less leg work, maybe reducing my load to one major leg workout and do the rest centering on my arms and chest and shoulder. I mean, while I have done pretty well getting myself back on track a little this upcoming week, who knows what I will need to prepare for next week. I mean, I still need to figure out a way to get my running distance up within the next couple weeks at least. Now that is the pat I am definitely worried about, because the toughest thing about Ragnar is the fatigue factor. I guess this means I will have to take heed on the advice I have seen looking into this article. Sleep as much as I can, eat as much as I can and keep my body limber. It’s gonna be tough.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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