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a blog by Chris Barrow

How I burned myself out and what I did about it

I burned myself out last week.

By close of play Friday evening I was exhausted both mentally and physically.

I will resist the temptation to cue the violins and give you a list of "all the things I did".

Let's just describe it as "race not pace". Always a disaster waiting to happen.

On Saturday morning I knew, as soon as I woke up, that my proposed Zwift bike ride that afternoon was delusional. I barely had the energy to walk the dogs, let alone cycle up a virtual mountain. I spent the whole day feeling broken.

Over the weekend a cycling friend called to ask if I was OK and asked me whether I had too many clients?

Overtrading is never a pretty sight and, although I have strayed in that direction a few times over 25 years, I have always pulled back very quickly.

That's not the problem this time - in fact, the advances we have made in virtual communication over the last 11 months (me with clients and you with patients) have changed the game and allowed us to reach out and help more people.

I don't have too many clients - I just fell into a temporary state of attempting to do too much for and with the clients I have.

On reflection, I probably do this a couple of times a year - and break myself.

Fortunately, I'm experienced enough to recognise the symptoms and change course very quickly.

Saturday was about rest and reflection.

On Sunday I spent a very relaxed half a day back down in The Bunker, catching up on residual work from the end of last week.

That might sound counter-intuitive but sometimes working without interruption or deadlines to clear the decks can be a nice way to restore one's energy and confidence.

By 15:00 yesterday I was reasonably up to date and mentally ready to start again this morning.

There's a busy week ahead, that's for sure, but I'll be pacing this week and not racing.

Life has a way of sending us those reminders doesn't it?

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