I was asked recently about rest days and if they were important. There’s a lot of info on the internet and fitness magazines talking about rest days and the value therein.
At the time, when I was asked I just blurted out an answer and honestly, I didn’t put a ton of thought into it. But after consideration I came up with this.
Our ancestors for thousands, maybe millions of years lived, and died in the most extreme conditions on the planet. While they didn’t “Work out” or hit the gym, their whole lives were a constant struggle to survive. They often traveled by foot for miles and miles carrying everything they owned on their backs. Many died just trying to get a meal. Hunting was dangerous. Armed with only a spear groups of men killed giant beasts and if they were unsuccessful not only they starved but their tribe or clan starved too.
Even when they weren’t searching for new lands on foot or hunting they had to keep constant watch for enemies and wild animals that would kill them in their sleep.
With the advent of farming, about 10000 years ago, humans began to live “easier “lives or at least less physically demanding. A farmer was no longer forced to rely on hunting and foraging for their food as they could trade what they grew for items and food they wanted. Villages with groups of people from different skill sets banded together and that led eventually to cities. From cities came countries and more and more conveniences for those that had a skill set or the ability to acquire items and trade or sell them.
I get that all these things can be deemed as “progress” but unfortunately, 10000 years on an evolutionary scale is just a little blip.
We were forged and bred from brutal and harsh conditions by only the hardiest of humans, regardless of your background. For millennia only the strongest survived.
It’s still in our DNA. And without that struggle and conflict I don’t believe we can ever be whole. In absence of struggle, humans will create their own and it manifests in mental and physical disorders and disease.
Just because we have access to all the comfort you can imagine it doesn’t mean we must constantly seek it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with TV time on the couch, occasionally. There’s nothing wrong with laying back on the sand at the beach, occasionally. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy those things too.
Here’s the problem. Comfort should never become a priority.
You don’t “need” a rest day.
You want one.
And that’s fine but call it what it is.
You’re not sore, you’re soft.
You’re not busy, it’s not a priority
It’s not too hard, you’re weak.
You have inside you the blood of warriors, hunters, and survivors. Don’t dishonor that legacy.
Remember who you wanted to be. Fully realize what you can be