Been strength training for awhile, all lifts are in the intermediate range with oh press lagging a bit. I am not asking about lifting advice per se, but rather the effects of stress on strength performance.
My mom is terminally ill. It is only a matter of time before she passes on, how much time I don’t know. I’m tired all The time, I can’t focus on anything, I feel like my joints (esp. my back) are more sensitive to injury, I feel like the energy has been ducked out of me. I love going to the gym but I have been feeling more tired and sore afterwords than usual.
Just wondering if I should back off of training and if the mental stress I’ve been experiencing has been taxing my body more than I can take .[/quote]
I was in a very similar situation last year when my father was terminally ill. As a matter of fact, I saw my mother for the first time since my dad’s funeral this past week, and the visit had me reflecting on my father’s illness and my training. I put my thoughts on this subject down in my log just yesterday.
My suggestion is to listen to your body, same as you would if your mother was not ill, but do not stop training. Back off the intensity if you need to, but keep working. It is not the end of the world if you do not PR in the near future. Everyone is going to deal with these sort of things differently, but continuing to take care of yourself to the best of your abilities will help keep you healthy both physically and mentally.
Lifting gave me strength when my father was dying. Physical strength, mental strength, and emotional strength are all connected and lifting boosted all three. It helped keep my emotions leveled-out enough to continue living my life even as my father was losing his. The exhaustion helped me sleep. It helped take my mind off of the situation and gave me something positive to focus on. It also made my father happy to know that I was improving my health even as his was declining.
To contrast, my brother slid into depression and was an emotional wreck during my father’s illness. He drank more, ate more, did not exercise and had emotional breakdowns like clockwork. Those frequent breakdowns and his mental state was very hard on my father. He did not like seeing his oldest son break into sobs at the drop of a hat.
I cannot help but conclude that staying active and taking care of myself was the main reason that I handled the situation better than my brother. I had my moments too, but I kept my shit together in front of my dad until the end. I was the one who stepped up to do some of the more difficult things that needed to be done as my father’s health declined severely near the end.
Taking care of yourself will help you be strong. Being strong for your mother, being strong for your family and being strong for yourself is the best thing you can do in this situation. Keep working.
You and your family have my sympathies. Best of luck to you.