Taking A Step Back

Alright. I think I’m finally starting to make a little headway on the exercise front.


I know I’ve mentioned it a few times this week, but my asthma has seriously been hindering my workouts this week. No matter how much I stay on top of taking my inhalers, the lovely spring air is really doing a number on me.

At the beginning of the week, and even late last week, I did my best to try and just ignore it. I assumed it was a little flare-up and would quickly pass, so I continued to try and push myself through strenuous, high intensity cardio workouts when my lungs just were not ready.

I took yesterday completely off from exercise – partly because I was exhausted…but mostly because I was frustrated. I’m glad I took yesterday off though, because not only did it give me a little more motivation to get back to it today, but it also allowed me to take a step back and really pay attention to what my body can handle right now.

My bootcamp workout called for 20 minutes of HIIT, but I knew that wouldn’t be in my best interest. Instead, I completed some steady intervals with 3 minutes at 6.6mph and 1 minute at 4.5mph. I was able to make it through all 25 minutes with minor wheezing and chest tightness, which was awesome, and I followed it up with a great strength “pull workout.”

Sure, it’s been super frustrating dealing with the asthma lately, but it has also served as a great reminder about the importance of really listening to our bodies. There are times when we need to take a step back. Don’t feel bad about that. If you can’t go at your max for a certain amount of time, it’s okay…you’ll get back there again.

Just do what you can, put in some serious effort, and finish knowing that you gave it your all.



Once I finished up with my morning clients and my own workout this morning, it was time to head home for breakfast. I don’t know what it was, but I was ravenous today!


Delicious coffee, plus a batch of oatmeal. I used the same base as Tuesday, but replaced the strawberries with some dried cherries that I still have on hand from my NatureBox, and topped it with a generous helping of homemade honey cinnamon PB.


Today’s oats were nice and fluffy, just how I like ‘em, but I thought they were looking a little blah…


Ahhh, that’s better.

Nothin’ a little Love Grown granola can’t fix. Winking smile


Time to shower and attempt some productivity for the afternoon!

Question for the Morning:

When was the last time you had to take a step back from going your hardest at something? How did you feel and how did you deal?


  1. Khushboo says

    You defintely did the right thing by scaling back your workout, so way to go on listening to your body :)! Sometimes I have to lift weights lighter than my normal because I’m too sore but that’s ok by me- at least I’m doing my current best!
    Khushboo recently posted..Hey it’s OK…

  2. says

    GREAT post courtney! within the past few weeks i’ve had to take a step back with my exercise big time. i’m trying to get my cycle back and my hormones balanced again. needless to say, it’s been rough! however, i know it’s been good for me and my body.
    Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..My Personality

  3. Elisabeth says

    I’ve had to take a HUGE step back recently and really listen to my body and follow my doctor’s advice, even when I feel fine. It was very frustrating and hard for me to do, especially because the event that triggered all of this was a very upsetting and unpleasant one. But now it is all behind me and I can’t wait to get back to the gym and resume life in general.

  4. says

    Right now I am taking a step back from running. After two year of training for half or full marathons my body needs the break. But it is hard not to go for that run when the sun is out, or if I do, go for a shorter/slower run. I am dealing my keeping busy doing other things and having active days that are not necessarily running or working out.
    Lindsey recently posted..Foodie Friday

  5. says

    The pollen right now HAS to be insane, because I don’t normally feel any effects from allergies if it’s isn’t crazy-high. I’m sorry you’re having troubles, but it’s good you know yourself enough to dial it back when necessary! I took a hiatus from running for the past month because things were just out of control for a lot of reasons and now I really miss it and cannot wait to get back into it. Sometimes a break is all you need! :)
    Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl recently posted..Go With the Flow

  6. Lilly says

    Sorry to hear your asthma/allergies have been bad! My bf has it really bad too…. BUT – we invested in a good air purifier for the bedroom about a year back and it has made such a difference! Literally, we go to sleep feeling bad, and wake up refreshed and allergy free (most of the time) – whereas, he would wake up sick and crazy allergies before we got the air purifier. It also really helps when you are sick to get better faster. You can get a decent one for about $100. Seriously – life changing for us. Just something to consider – hope it helps!

    • Courtney says

      Yes! We actually have TWO, which we keep in our living room because of the cat. We keep our bedroom door closed off from him all the time, but wanted the air purifier for the rest of the house. They definitely do work great, I agree!

  7. says

    When I found out you had asthma I was blown away because you work HARD!

    As you know I have been hit with some challenges of late and I took a step back and handled things the good old Marine Corps way – Improvise, Adapt, Overcome and I was so glad I did.

    I came back in a different way and turned out to be stronger than I had realized.

    And you already know this – but I just have to shout it again – I swam a mile this morning. This was the result of stepping back.

    Remember, even the mighty tiger steps back before he leaps from the trees. 😉

  8. says

    Way to listen to your body! I had a similar situation recently … I thought I was recovered from a sinus cold I had been suffering – turns out I wasn’t. I couldn’t exercise to the same level I usually do, and it was super frustrating. But I had to deal with it! If I would have continued to push myself, I’m sure I would have compromised getting better quickly. So I let myself rest, and now I’m better than ever :) Enjoy your Friday (the 13th!)
    Yellow Haired Girl recently posted..Onion Breath

  9. says

    So sorry that you asthma is flaring up!! I think I need to take a step back right now. I think I’ve been pushing myself too hard at the gym and my body is feeling a little worn down. I guess it’s hard to see other bloggers being so intense and doing these crazy challenging things and wondering why I can’t do that too haha. Gotta remember that everyone is different!
    Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..Fitness Loves of the Week #11

    • Courtney says

      Lindsay, that’s SO true. Some days, I’ll read other posts from people who completed workout “X, Y, and Z” and I’m like, good lord, I really need to step up my game!
      But then I remember…I only need to worry about ME. It’s certainly a challenge not to compare ourselves to others, but we all essentially know what is right for us :)

  10. says

    On Wednesday, I was still in Maine, completing my Freihofer’s training workouts (don’t think I’m doing the run for women this year but I’m trying to stay fit) and it came time for the 3 minutes of jogging/3 minutes of walking repetition. I knew I could not jog through Ogunquit and the Marginal Way without dying in 3 minutes’ time. My neck also hurt from doing the 90 second walking/jogging repetition. I decided to walk the rest of the way back to Perkins Cove, and then went out to eat at Mike’s Clam Shack. :)
    Shannon recently posted..Happy Easter!

    • Courtney says

      Good job on the training workout, Shannon! Even if you don’t run the race, that’s still great that you’re trying to stay fit! :)

  11. says

    All that I can say is that the one time that I didn’t listen to my body I regretted it. In fact, I still do so very very smart move. It may be hard to take a step back in the short term but if you don’t… it will likely be harder to take that longer term step back.
    Carolyn recently posted..It’s Friday the 13th

  12. says

    I’ve been dealing with the same thing this week. I’ve had a bad cold, nothing serious, but enough that whenever I exercise my body tells me to “stop it!” So, my exercise has not been intense (I still have to teach classes, but I’ve taken it really easy, and done more coaching rather than instruction).

    I think it’s good to have periodic breaks. It gives the mind and body a needed rest, so when you return, you’re ready for the intensity.
    Janae Wise recently posted..2 Giveways: Pink Lining Goodies!

  13. says

    it’s great that you’re listening to your body! A lot of people I know would rather just push through the pain, which is often a bad idea :)
    Natasha recently posted..Ouch!

  14. says

    I understand about asthma, I have had it all my life. However since I started exercising my asthma has diminished, finally! Just take it easy. My doctor told me the best thing to do when my asthma started to act up was to go to the mall! Yup the mall! He said the air conditioning in there was helpful. He said to grab a drink a magazine and just chill!

    Hope you feel better!

    Have a great weekend!
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Mexican Black Bean Frittata

  15. says

    I read this post this morning and then just saw this article about diet and asthma and thought you might find it interesting:

    I’ve definitely noticed my allergies have been worse recently, so I can imagine what a pain your asthma must be. Good luck with it!
    Jacqui @Miss Nutritionista recently posted..First Reflections and a New Plan

  16. says

    I couldn’t imagine dealing with asthma and working out, I know I would be frustrated, but you need to listen to your body for sure. I have THE HARDEST time when I’m sick or injured and have to rest and not be active, it kills me.
    Jodi recently posted..Austria pt. 1

  17. Cassie D. says

    Props to you for listening to your body! Sometimes it’s hard to take a break, especially when you know what you’re normally capable of. I’ve had to take it easy lately after some chronic back problems kept me from working out completely for quite some time. Once I felt better, I was so eager to go hard-core, but that just made my injury flair up! I also think it’s difficult when you’re in a group fitness class and you try to keep up with others, even when it’s in your best interest to scale back.

  18. says

    So technically I’ve never had any asthama issues, but this year with the high ragweed and pollen I have started having major trouble breathing which is very annoying!!

    dealing with my own healthy issues lately I had to DNS a marathon and it was frustrating, but has absolutely given me a chance to focus on other things
    Amanda @RunToTheFinish recently posted..12 Places to Run Before You Die

  19. says

    Great job at realizing you need to step back. This coming week my goal is to ease up on my exercise and increase my calories. Its been something I’ve needed to do for a long time, but am just starting now.

  20. Emily says

    I too am a Personal Trainer, so I am with you in that it is VERY hard for me to take a step back when it comes to my exercise routine. I am currently 5 months pregnant with baby #2, and that means that most days I am bombarded by extreme fatigue, tummy issues, and/or nausea. I’m learning to be okay with keeping my workouts more moderate, but lemme tell ya…I cannot wait to get back to my burpees and sprints and jump lunges!!

    You are definitely doing the right thing in listening to your body and stepping back when needed. If you don’t, you’ll end up crashing harder and then taking longer to recover. I am happy to hear you’re learning this now, before you have little ones, cause I didn’t learn allow myself a break until now.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge