I am writing this as I am doing what feels like the ultimate runners’ walk of shame. I got about 2.5 miles into my run this morning before I had to force myself to stop. The pain in my back calf was feeling like more than a cramp and just wouldn’t go away. That’s when I told myself it was time to cut my run short. In my wise old age, I have learned a very important lesson: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. This was tough for me today, especially as I watched other runners speed passed. I had to shake the failure feeling off. In the past, I have had a terrible habit of overdoing it. I would get super hyped up and push by body too far, more often than not, resulting in injury. I wasn’t going to let that happen today. About 2 years ago I was in Ireland visiting my in laws. I was still new to running and couldn’t wait to run through the beautiful scenery. After one run I started feeling pain in my hip, and like a total idiot, I continued to run for two more days. Well let me tell you, I could barely walk the rest of our vacation. I limped for about a month after we returned home. Finally I went to the doctor. My X-ray came back and showed an almost hair line fracture on my hip. It was what my doctor called a “close call”. I was lucky that I merely pulled a ligament, instead of tearing one. I was out of commission for 6 months. If I would have continued running on my injury, I would have seriously hurt myself even more. What really makes me think twice about not listening to my body when it says stop is my family. If I’m hurt, everyone suffers. We live in Brooklyn so we walk everywhere. If I can’t walk, I can’t my daughter to the park or to school, I can’t go to the grocery store, I can’t walk across the street to get a cup of coffee, I can’t even make it up our three story walk up. I become totally sedentary. On top of that, I lose my form of meditation-running. It’s one thing to push through the mental aspect of running, but when you’re pushing through pain in your body, it’s a whole other ball game. We are tough on our bodies-especially those runners out there. Sometimes we need to practice a little give and take. Your body needs to take timeouts sometimes. Everyone needs a little rest and repair once in a while. THERE IS NO SHAME IN THAT. I have been lucky before, but now, and in the future, I will always listen to my body. It’s better to rest and rejuvenate for a few days than be out of the game for months. It’s tough having to stop when you’re dying for a good run, but it’s also incredibly satisfying knowing and understanding what my body needs.