I’m Not Superwoman? Tips To Recovery From Being Human

I can do that. I can do that too. Oh okay, might as well do that too. Sure, but this is the last thing. Oh fine, what’s one more thing added to my list? 

Sound familiar?

We want to do it all. Say no to no one and yes to everyone.

superwomanI don’t know about you but I often think I am the Energizer Bunny. I can go and go and go, without any fear of every running out of battery power.

I also like to think my body is that of Superwoman’s… indestructable and able to do everything without fear of consequences.

But I’m not Superwoman or the Energizer Bunny and neither are you.

I am learning this right now. I’ve pushed the limits and my body is telling me to slow down, be human for a day or two.

It’s Hard Being Human

It’s hard to acknowledge weakness and fatigue. It’s even harder to acknowledge it and then do something about it.

But that’s exactly what I am doing right now. Focusing on my body and mind, reminding myself that if I keep forcing it to work as hard as I do, there will be major consequences. I’m already seeing some.

Slowing down is a requirement!


I know I am not alone in this…

Did you know that there are 175 MILLION vacation days that will go unused this year by Americans? Did you also know that France requires 30 vacation days for workers, while America requires 0. And that out of 20 developed countries, American os beat only by Japan in having the least amount of vacations/holidays off? Source

And that’s all just in the work front. Who knows how much we’re over doing it at home, the gym, and every other aspect of life.

It’s sad but we live in a society that urges us to go, go, go, and go some more.

Too Much Too Soon

Over the past 5 weeks, I’ve raced in 4 races. Let me clarify, there is a difference in running a race and racing a race. Running a few of them wouldn’t have been so tough… but racing them all has proven to have been too much for my body.


The point I realized I’m human

On top of racing, I’ve been filming workouts and working hard with Dan in the gym to tackle some big goals. But you know what?

I feel farther than ever from them.

I’ve suddenly never felt weaker or more fatigued in my life. In fact, during the taping on Monday I had a mini melt down afterwards, expressing to Dan how it took everything out of me to complete the 25 minute workout. How my legs felt like bricks and my mind wanted to give up the moment I started.

It was a clear sign that I’ve done too much too soon.

I’ve pushed my body beyond the breaking point and I deserve all the side effects I get.

It’s my fault.

But it’s also my job to listen and to do something about it.

Talk about being humbled. I was.

How To Build Back Up To Be Superwoman

Dan has noticed for about the past 3 weeks that something has been off. This was the first workout that really felt “off”…


He asked yesterday what was going on. Then he mentioned that for most workouts, he’s normally working to keep up with me, and now I look as if I am suffering from the get go. What gives?

I’ve lost my Superwoman strength and now it’s time to be human for a few days/weeks to build back up.

And chances are you’ll go through, or perhaps you’ve been through the same situation.

Becoming human can be from physical or mental breakdowns, but we can become the Superwomen that we once were.

That’s the cycle… Human –> Superwoman –> Human –> Superhuman

Life isn’t stagnant, we don’t stay in the same position forever, we will have ups and downs.

5 Ways To Recover From Being A Human

feeling human

1 – Don’t ignore the signs.

If you feel like you’re overtraining, over working, over ____, then follow your instincts and do something now. If you push it off, the signs will get worst and the consequences become more dreadful.

2 – Take time.

Be selfish and take time for yourself. We all need to focus on ourselves and stop always trying to please everyone else. If you have an office, during lunch close the door, turn of the lights and just rest. Go for a walk all by your lonesome after work, or book a massage.

3 – Say no.

This is the hardest for many women, at least it is for me. Saying no means you’re letting someone down. But that’s life, sometimes you have to walk away to keep balance and build back up your superhuman strength. If you’re burnt out, for 2-3 weeks practice this:  “no, I’m sorry I just can’t right now,” until you’re feeling back up and at it.

4 – Don’t sweat it.

If you’re burnt out from working out or racing like me, then take 1-2 (sometimes more) weeks to decrease the intensity of your workouts, take some new fitness classes, or even take time off completely. After Monday’s training I realized how much my body was affected by the races so I cancelled my track workout and pushed it back a few more days. I’ll be keeping everything this week light and focused on recovery.

5 – It’s okay to be emotional.

This is such a “woman thing to say” but it’s true. I really needed a good cry on Monday and having such a humbling experience with my workout allowed all those feelings to swell up and out. It’s okay to say, “no, I’m not in a great place right now… I need to chill the heck out.” As soon as I finally allowed my emotions to come out I felt better, even a little stronger.

The bottom line is this, don’t ignore your body. We only have this one beautiful vehicle to get us through this life and just like a car, it needs a tune up from time to time… don’t be one of those people that feels they’re different, they really are the Energizer Bunny… because even those people will run out of juice and will be left unable to bang their drum.

What do you do when you feel burnt out? 

Who’s your favorite commercial character? 

I love Tony The Tiger!


  • I need this poster size! Love it!

  • Totally feel for you! I’ve been requiring more mandatory days off of working out so I can keep up with my longer runs. So far, so good. I need to work on the whole no thing! Hang in there. Email if you want to meet up for coffee to chat

    • I would love a coffee chat!

  • Kim

    Another great post!!!
    I’m sorry that you have been struggling but glad you are giving yourself the permission to recover now!!!
    I’ve had times when my body is the same – a workout that usually is no big deal becomes nearly impossible – I just ease up for a bit and usually come back even stronger – you will, too!

    • Thanks Kim! You’re right, I can already tell I’m getting stronger just by taking a step back.

  • This is a great post–most of us at some time or another are going to go down like this. I’m so glad you see it and are answering it. I am right there with you and let me tell you–the next couple of weeks are going to involve some sleeping in, indulging, and easy walks in the woods with the pup!

    • Thanks, I am loving the extra sleep I’ve been trying to get. Every extra minute seems like a gift!

  • Great post! I’ve definitely had times when I felt this way. That’s when I know I need to listen to my body, slow down and just take a break. If I don’t do those things, I’ll feel even worse and my body won’t have a chance to rejuvenate.

    • Exactly! We exercise to feel better and rejuvenated not to run ourselves to the ground.

  • I am really feeling it too. I’ve done a lot of races and need some time off. I haven’t “raced” them all, but our bodies can only do so much and I’m not convinced that more is always better. I think this is why so many training plans build in “cutback” weeks so your body can recover a bit- and I know my body hadn’t recovered from JICR but then I did the 5K Saturday and my time was way off what it should have been because of that (that 10K was almost like a half as far as recovery goes!).

    Plus, there is so much more to life than workouts. Lots of times when I feel “over trained”, I find things around the house lacking, etc. It’s almost like it’s life’s way of showing me I have other responsibilities too.

    • We’re definitely in the same boat together! Rest up after this race! There is so much more than life for sure.

      • Thinking I may take it easy this weekend, or at least take it easy for a few days this week. I’m not following any sort of training plan or really training for any races/runs until after the holidays anyway. Just running for fun, socialization, health right now, not so much to PR. I actually feel exhausted right now… =/.

  • haha, the superman photoshop job is too cute!
    i totally struggle with being human. i suck at taking days off and whenever i’m working out and i feel tired instead of taking it as a sign i need rest, i beat myself up about it and just lament that i am not having a “hard enough” workout.
    i stayed over at a friend’s last night and today she woke up with a raging stomach flu. i am so afraid that in a day or two i’ll have it..and then i’ll have to miss workouts. how messed up is that! i wish i could let myself be human and rest even when i’m sick, but it’s so hard.

    • DOn’t worry I’m the same, many of us are. If you get the bug REST! And don’t be yourself up over it. Remind yourself that your body is working plenty hard enough, it’s having it’s own workout to get you healthy!

  • Love this post! This week is my first week back to running after having surgery for Morton’s neuroma and I am using a couch potato to 5K program because it will allow me to ease up back into running. I’m just excite to be running but do not want to do too much too soon.

    • Good luck! Listen to your body it will tell you what it can handle!

  • i swear i lost my cape somewhere, Now i need it back. haha JK! I just learn to say NO, that’s a must!!

    • I’ve got a cape that isn’t being used at the moment, I’ll send it your way!

  • Really appreciate your honesty in this post. So much of the fitness and healthy living community is about showing the “good” side…the great workouts, great races, “perfect” meals, etc and sometimes the hard moments get glossed over. Thanks for showing the human side and that we can all use a little grace in our lives.

    • Thanks Ashley! I am not perfect and I will never try to be. We all struggle and sharing those struggles and getting back up is so important!

  • I love this post (and the poster!!) and totally resonates with me. I’ve been doing to0 much on so many fronts and my body has totally rebelled – getting sick and losing my voice. Actually, I still haven’t completely recovered my voice and it’s almost been 2 weeks now. Or maybe this will be my new voice as a reminder that I’m human!

    • Oh no! Let yourself recover! I normally lose my voice whenever I get sick, this time I appear to have gotten lucky!

  • This is a wonderful post, very very important, and something I feel more people go through than we realize, but it is something we can sometimes be embarrassed to admit.

    I have done this multiple times, as an elite athlete, I have often pushed my body too far, while “burning the candle at both ends” trying to life a life outside of running, but unsurprisingly it ends in disaster, and I feel like my world comes tumbling down.

    The fact that we can run, or workout, is itself an achievement, so many people are unable to do even 10 minutes of exercise, but we become so spoilt by our bodies resilience to the stress we put it under, that when it breaks down we become angry. This is the perfect post to come back and read (which I will) to remind myself that I am only human, and sometimes we need to take a step back to move forward. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks. You’re so right about burning at both ends of the candle! It’s so easy to too until it’s too late. Great comment, thanks! 🙂

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  • I love this post! It’s so easy to be caught in the comparison trap and think that if she can do it, so can I. But it really comes down to listening to your body and being kind to yourself while thoughtfully and conscientiously challenging your body.

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