Thursday, August 22, 2013

Addicted to ......

You like to think that you're immune to the stuff...oh yeah
It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
you know you're gonna have to face it
you’re addicted to …..”
Robert Palmer

It’s been a really tough day. I’m completely overwhelmed at work- so much so that I am paralyzed as to what steps to take next.  My plants at home are dying, there are dishes in the sink, I have bags under my eyes and a 2250m swim on my schedule.  Instead of resting or cleaning - I choose to swim. 
Hello, my name is Jennifer and I’m an exercise addict.

As I dive into the pool and slice through the water, I immediately sense all of my concerns wash away. I no longer anguish about objectives or displays of learning.  Lesson plans and routines drown.  Long term planning, short term goals- who cares?  I’m meditating; pushing my body beyond what I thought was capable of.  I am bathing in dopamine and serotonin; and I feel amazing.

I have never done drugs (but have had too much to drink on occasion) and can only imagine that this sensation must be very similar.  It is said that amphetamines (speed) cause feelings of euphoria, mental focus and resilience against physical fatigue.  I can compare that to crawling into the gym in a foul mood, and come out revived.  I penetrate the water in a mental fog, and come out to crystal skies.  I arrive exhausted, and leave exhilarated. 

Studies show that “In addition to the beneficial long-term effects of a sustained exercise program, there are also short-term benefits of exercise that wear off after an hour or two. These include an increased pain threshold, reduction of acute anxiety and "runner's high." Runner's high (which can occur following any intense aerobic exercise, not just running) is a short-lasting, deeply euphoric state that's well beyond the simple relaxation”

 The word “high” has such negative connotations, but that IS how I feel after I finish a workout- accomplished, gratified…..even intoxicated. 
I’m so grateful that I have fund an outlet for my addictive personality.  I have no doubt that I could be strung out on something harmful to my body, instead of exercise that makes it powerful and strong. 

"You see the signs, but you can't read
You're runnin' at a different speed
Your heart beats in double time
Another kiss and you'll be mine, a one track mind
You can't be saved
Oblivion is all you crave
If there's some left for you
You don't mind if you do….."




Monday, August 5, 2013

The Rose Tattoo

Irene C Cassorla

42 years ago my mom and dad started to tell their little girl a story. 

It was about a “good girl” who ate all her veggies, and went to bed early.  She made straight A’s, sang in the choir and volunteered at the nursing home.  They said good girls didn’t smoke, or drink or do drugs.  They didn’t have sex before marriage and they were expected to be in the front pew of The First United Methodist Church with their family every Sunday morning. 
They said I was a good girl as long as I stayed on the confined pages of their book. 

It wasn’t long before other characters entered the story and started writing for the grown up woman she had become.  They told her that “good people” work night and day, and they volunteer, and keep themselves healthy and fit.  They said she would be happy if she married, and had kids.  Oh, and she should have a nice big house that she cleaned feverishly before dinner parties and BBQ’s. 

But the woman became bored with the story that others were writing for her, and decided to write her own.  She could not type fast enough about the adventure and drama; passion and romance that would be her future.    She finally understood what Don Miguel meant when he said that the “impact of others opinions and reactions become a very strong force in the habits we create.”  She knew that other people’s assumptions and opinions were no longer her truth.

The rose tattoo on her side is there to remind her of her quest for personal freedom, and the beautiful life that will blossom and grow when she is the writer of her own destiny.