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….."




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