Avoiding the Bonk
By Janel Breitenstein
A friend of mine is readying to run a half-marathon up Pikes Peak.
Aside from the curious question of why she is friends with the likes of me, she has been trying to overcome the “bonk.” I have not heard of this term in the same way in which she refers to it, so I lean in.
The bonk, she explains, is when her body simply can’t go anymore in her 7,000-plus foot ascent, the summit of which will be at a height of over 14,000 feet. (To help one comprehend the lack of oxygen and general sanity: Trees give up growing around 11,500 feet.)
It has taken a precise mix of electrolytes and other nutritional goodness to help her body keep up with its robust endeavors. If she doesn’t rest, hydrate, and nourish?
Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, in The Power of Full Engagement, observe,
Following a period of activity, the body must replenish fundamental biochemical sources of energy. This is called “compensation” and when it occurs, energy expended is recovered.
Increase the intensity of the training or performance demand, and it is necessary to increase the amount of energy renewal …
… Sadly, the need for recovery is often viewed as evidence of weakness rather than an integral aspect of sustained performance … To maintain a powerful pulse in our lives, we must learn how to rhythmically spend energy.
Whether I like to admit it or not, I have limitations, and so does my marriage. A need for nutrition and rest and restorative cycles.
If one of you travels, or alternatively stays home with the kids, you may need a downbeat. Maybe you’ve had a particularly demanding school year, a strenuous season of work, or a taxing season with teens or toddlers. You and your marriage were created for more than what you can do, produce, or achieve—even for the kingdom of God.
Don’t wait until you bonk. Savor the fact that “For freedom Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1)—He has already performed on your behalf—and delight in God’s rest and prepaid satisfaction.
The good stuff: You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. (Deuteronomy 5:15)
Action points: Does your marriage need to take a restorative beat? Practically speaking, how could you surrender to your limitations and God’s rhythms by setting aside time to replenish?
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