Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Silly Thought

Like some other people I know, I have my best ideas in the shower. The rest of the day is up in the air.

Today in the shower I was thinking about people considered to have ADD or ADHD (essentially the same thing but the latter is like ADD with a crack addiction.) I was wondering why the US has the highest incidence of these "diseases" and why it's not something people have historically suffered with. It seems to be a new epidemic as of the mid 20th century.

Here's my thought on it. It's computers. We have a whole generation of kids growing up on computers. Instead of working with kids on isolated tasks (e.g. learning to read, riding a bike, learning to write, etc...) which require their attention we're plopping these kids in front of multi-tasking machines. The kid's mind quickly adapts to multi-tasking whenever it's engaged in anything and as a result when a person is forced into a situation that requires concentrated thinking, their mind automatically switches into gear to attend to a few other tasks. That's why their so scatter brained. That's why they get anxious. They have been trained to do 2+ tasks at once and when they're thrown into the situation of only having exactly one task to do (e.g. taking an exam, reading a book, sitting still anywhere) it's unnatural for them. And they respond like any other person would in an uncomfortable situation. They freak out.

So, the cure for these conditions: take the computer away, take the cell phone away, take the iPod away, and do a focused task. It'll take a while to condition the brain to focus on the one task but it'll happen. As is commonly said, Rome wasn't built in a day. Nor will this de-conditioning happen in a day.

There's my thesis topic. Anyone who's a psych major looking to do a doctoral dissertation, you now have your topic.

On a more athletic note, I weight lifted today for the first time in almost a week. And I spent substantial time working my very weak glutes. Hopefully this is going to isolate the problem I've been having and help make 2009 even better than 2008.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Spinning

Got in some stationary cycle today. It wasn't impressive but the calories got burned.

This time of year is always hard for me. I get done with a hard season and virtually crash. Physiologically my body needs to rest so I fall out of the training and focus my time and energy on other things. Getting out of a routine is odd because all of a sudden I have a lot of extra time. It's strange having time to cook a meal mid-week that isn't frozen and just needs a microwave.

And it doesn't take long until my chemicals get all out of balance. That's what caused my bout with depression earlier. Turns out I treat running like I treat alcohol and like I'd treat any other controlled substance. It's a drug to me and has the same effect: heightened levels of "happy" chemicals. And I really like those happy chemicals. A LOT! And want as much of it as I can get as often as I can get it. Hence the insane training.

Take the running away and my mind cannot compensate so I crash and suffer severe depression for a while until the chemicals eventually re-ballance themselves. The shorter and colder days don't exactly help either.

This didn't happen last year because I ran through the winter. I didn't run like I did through the season but I at least kept my cardio up. I also didn't get injured. So, the intensity of the chemical withdraw was new for me.

Thanks for all your kind words and support. I'm doing fine. Check back with me next winter when I get to play this game all over again.

Here's todays bike.