If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times from Tammy, my primary physical therapist, “Pace yourself, Cheryl.”

After a serious brain injury due to an illness, I spent over a year in physical therapy learning how to do basic things such as walk and lift a pencil with two fingers.  It was fascinating to watch my body/brain, try to figure out which part of my body went with the part of my brain that was trying to make it move.  I would tell my leg to move and my elbow would swing wildly.  I would try to pinch my index finger and thumb together and my head would twitch violently.

But the hardest part of reconnecting to my body was not all of the blood, sweat and tears that went into the process.  It was learning how to pace myself.

Pacing was the most strenuous aspect of my rehabilitation.  Without Tammy, I’m not sure I could have done it.  She coached me in so many areas, but trying to keep me from running over myself was probably the most important and the most challenging for her!

Strangely enough, the more I learned to pace, the more distance I covered in my recovery.  It was as much a part of the rehab success as the actual neuromuscular work.

To drive this point home just a little further, a client recently told me about an interview legendary Coach Bob Knight conducted with Wichita State Coach Gregg Marshall.  At the end of the interview, Coach Marshall asked Coach Knight a question,  “What is the one thing that we can do better as we go into the tournament?”

Coach Knight offered this simple bit of wisdom: “Pace yourselves.”  He didn’t suggest improving skill, beefing up the defense, trimming the offense, changing the bench, watching against fouls… nope, none of that.  His advice boiled down to a very simple, straightforward concept.  Don’t over practice.

For Coach Knight’s full response, fast forward the video clip to 2:45 second.

What about you?  Are you running ragged or have you found your pace?  Do you need help with that? Check out some of our other posts on pacing to help you set a strong but sustainable pace for yourself!

Photo Credit: Denise Myers