When Rest Is Best

Relax. ©Carolyn Parker

It’s August and rock climbing season is in full swing.

It’s a good time for a mid-season check in.

I always check in with my athletes before we start training. I check in to make sure they aren’t working around pain or discomfort.

Recently a young, strong athlete came into my gym for her training session. Let’s call her Lucy.

When I checked in with Lucy, she sheepishly admitted that her shoulder had flared up again—it felt irritated, like her old injury was coming back.

Lucy also admitted to tripling up on strength training, adding a fingerboard workout, and lots of rock climbing. She was motivated and pushing hard because she had just “sent” her first 5.12.

However, Instead of continuing with her training session, I sent Lucy home. What Lucy really needed was to take a week off and to get a massage. I also explained to her the importance of learning to “listen” to her body.

Learning to listen to what your body is telling you is the most effective path to continued improvement.

Lucy did as I recommended and I’m happy to report she is now back on track, pain free.

The problem of not listening to our bodies arises because it is too much fun getting stronger, progressing, and climbing well. We get attached to the fun.

However, our bodies need to rest and recover and they start to send us messages when it’s time. It’s best to listen and not ignore these signs.

Why do we need rest and when?

Stress is stress: training stress, work stress, general life stress. All stress needs to be balanced with adequate sleep, good nutrition, time with friends, and time for you. I cycle all my athletes through harder and easier weeks, tapering before big events or climbs, and active recovery weeks afterward.

Most of us love to continue to do what we love to do. However, in order to continue to do what we love without getting injured, we must rest and recover. Also, the best path to continuing to get better, fitter, faster, stronger, is through rest and deep recovery.So, if you haven’t taken appropriate rest, gotten a massage, spent time on deep recovery now may be the time!

Schedule some you-time, take a nap, eat some vegetables, laugh with a friend and attend to any aches or pains before they become an injury that shuts you down.

Until next time!

All my best,



Contact me for further training information and programming @

Carolyn Parker



Founder Ripple Effect Training