Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Endorphin Rush

You know that natural endorphin high most budding athletes claim to get while engaged in some adrenaline-charged physical activity? That particular moment when the excruciating aches and pains tapers away to a glorious sense of euphoria?

Seriously I am beginning to think the endorphin rush is an urban legend developed to fuel the sweat-soaked dreams of many. Just the infamous placebo effect working its wicked wiles on the exhausted, light-headed, oxygen-starved jocks.

Till now I have never reached that high. After a miserable half hour on the elliptical, all I'm feeling is tired, sweaty and bloody irritated. Any amount of enthusiastic encouragement given by the friendly neighbourhood trainer would probably be unfairly rewarded with a barbell bounced off his sculpted head.

But yes, much to everyone's surprise - including myself - I have been visiting the gym irregularly for the past few weeks. And not only to drool over the shirtless patrons.

Feel the burn?

No, I certainly have no intention of developing the much-envied six-pack or even the seductive Apollo's belt. All I want to do is avoid falling into the sad cliche of the sedentary workaholic dropping dead from a sudden heart attack in his mid-thirties.


Several months back while doing nothing much in particular, I suddenly suffered a disagreeable spasm somewhere in the region of my chest. Like all intensive care doctors, we immediately leap to the worst possible conclusion. Tension headaches turn into brain tumours, mild coughs turn into raging pneumonias. Nightmarish worst-case scenarios, that's me.

So rather than hope for something reasonably mild like a gastric reflux, I promptly clutched a handful of aspirin thinking I was dying from an acute myocardial infarction. Otherwise known as a massive heart attack. The more I thought about it, the more I started to feel an ominous tingle running down my left arm. Even thinking that it might be a heart attack was enough to make me nauseous. Not sure which part of it was really happening and which part was plain psychosomatic - an unfortunate by-product of my wildly imaginative brain.

Thought of inserting a branula to run some reperfusion therapy but thought better of it. Especially since once I reached my workplace, all the results turned out to be within normal range. Even my ECGs looked fine.

Yes, it was a wild panic. But of course it pushed me onto the treadmill for starters. Blergh.

Still no endorphin rush though.


GVP said...

That's interesting. I somewhat feel happy after playing sports like tennis, squash, and cycling. Once I reach the happy threshold, I can keep going for hours. Maybe try playing a sport you like, perhaps?

I have just got a little growing black spot on my calf, and having seen melanoma and UV-induced SCC (from ex-dogs and cats) don't help one bit! Even though the referral doctor says not to worry since it was most likely melanin naevus, he could obviously tell I'm anxious to have it removed. Australia is rather well known for a place to get UV-related tumour. Knowing too much is not good for our psyche, is it?

Kenny Mah said...

Good on you for getting some exercise. I've quit the gym myself and switched over the outdoors - it's simply more fun (for me lah, not for everyone, I know) to jog around the neighbourhood with new sights/sounds every morning. :)

ooi2009 said...

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savante said...

Feel happy, gvp? Really! Now that it's been verified I am jealous! Yes, we do panic easily haha. I would have thought a naevus was melanoma too.

Astonishingly grumpy sweating so better I stay away from the crowds, Kenny. Haha... Or else I might beat someone up.

Got plenty on board, ooi :)

Hdaran said...

Doesn't the so-called endorphin resulting from the adrenaline-charged physical activity result from something physical you actually like doing? Sex (as opposed to strenuous physical work out at the gym) could be an explanation... Athletes just have the passion for it I guess...

Tempus said...

ish I have the exact same symptom in my 20!!!! WTHELLL@@@@

But I thought it might be just pectoral muscle cramps since the cardiac area is much closer to the sternum. My parents even thought that I'm having puberty wtf.

Growing boobs now???!!!

Kenny Mah said...

The crowds? Try getting up before dawn and hitting the lonesome trails around the neighbourhood - guaranteed no crowds. (Might just get chased by a dog or two, but what's exercise without a lil adventure, eh? Hehe.)