In this consumerist era, where almost everything is easily available at our fingertips, we’re always chasing one high or the other. The illusionary experience of satisfaction seems to always keep us on our toes. A form of high that’s not as popular as it should be is the high obtained from chasing adrenaline. It’s a drug that’s saved my life again and again in difficult times, and I’m proud to be addicted to the adrenaline I experience while working out.
Our blood has to flow in our veins for us to stay alive. But, in an era of sedentary lifestyles, where both our work and entertainment can be experienced with a screen while being seated at one place, our physical bodies rarely get a chance to move like real living animals. Though the mind can be stimulated at one seated location, there’s a real struggle for our species in losing the feeling of actually using our body to move about, fire our muscles, chase the adrenaline, and actually feeling alive which stimulates both our body and mind in ways more euphoric than anything done through our lazy need for physical comfort. The pain of working out, letting the blood flow throughout our body in a healthy way which nature intended, the hormones released through strenuous physical activity is altogether a form of blissful high that cannot be bought or stolen despite all the advancements and progress done towards our human comforts.
The past two years have been rough on most people. I’m lucky to have never had a serious case of the virus, but the pandemic era was dull and would continue to be so if I didn’t workout on any day. Working out for me includes – running, bodyweight exercises, a type of HIIT, and other basic stuff that I keep switching to make sure it stays fun. I’ll first take you through the dull and painful experience of not working out before I dive into the gloriously painful experience of working out every day.
Life as a Cadaver -
A grim side of my mind recognizes that people horribly affected by the pandemic seasons of 2020 and 2021 aren’t just those who died from the virus, but more importantly, those who didn’t. If any of you have a family member or a friend who died from the virus, then my apologies for making this point, and remember that I’m not trying to insult the dead. That’s nowhere close to my intentions. I’m also excluding the outright extroverts from the affected, as their lives weren’t too different even in the months of the strictest lockdowns. I’m not judging anyone for breaking the lockdown rules, as I respect the freedom of choice, and acknowledge that when anything is forced on people, many will intentionally not bow down to it. Again, I have no moral qualms with the matter. Maybe it’s just my selfish perspective, but I see the safety-conscious, introverted, and anyone with any level of OCD to be among the harshest affected by the pandemic.
Life amidst the pandemic turned dull, gloomy, boring, and lifeless to the point of not feeling alive like a healthy human should. This cadaver style of life is both degrading and destructive on all fronts, and I knew I had to escape it while still staying responsible. Exercising once in a while and dropping the ball would help in no way. Consistency is what mattered the most, and the results still surprise me in a good way.
Running to Live -
Running never interested me for most of my life until this year. I enjoyed bodyweight workouts and pumping iron at the gym, but those activities had never radically changed my chubby, aka slightly semi-obese, body in the years before the pandemic. I had experienced how my breathing, endurance, and heart were designed against me running whenever I had tried serious cardio in the past. This year showed me the opposite and made me realize that consistency in any activity can work wonders. By consistency, I definitely don’t mean a few days. I mean that it takes a few months of repeated activity on a daily basis to see any significant changes that are worth proudly boasting about with shameless confidence.
I’ve had a problem with consistency all my life in every activity that I tried. Maybe it connects to my issues with discipline and commitment, but now I’ve begun to have a newfound respect for the magic found through consistency. As a long time fan of action thrillers(books and movies) and dark comedy, I had to channelize my inner deranged anti-hero to make sick and psychotic jokes every day to motivate myself to run. This spirit found in most action heroes inspired me to use that level of deranged dark humor and cynicism to pump my own ego, in a controlled and healthy way, for practically good reasons like working out every day.
After spending the first 23 years of my life hating anything connected to running and cardio, I’m now too amazed by it. Running keeps me sane on levels I didn’t know was possible. The adrenaline, sweat, and burn felt while running is almost meditative. It’s a recharging action that keeps me grounded and strengthens the bond between my mind and my body. Running also helps my cognition and creativity. I’m grateful to have started it this year without wasting many more years of my life. My morning runs have become ritualistic, like a sacred activity that makes me feel good about myself. Some days I run almost 2 kilometers and on others, I end up running over 4 kilometers, and when I don’t run in the morning, I make sure to go for a run in the evening.
Since I’m human, I have my bad days, but trying to keep increasing the streak of days I’m running helps me have fewer bad days than I ever did before. The accountability post-it note I use for maintaining the record of my running streaks is a lifesaver. It helps me keep the good days consistent, and inactive days inconsistent. I do my best to make sure the days without running do not last over one or two, and the days I spend running reach a large number. I’m also proud to say that I haven’t been so consistent with any activity in my life before this and the consistency in my running is changing many things in a good way.
Changes that Flood in -
The past few months of running and working out have changed my body in ways I never thought was possible. While I worked out with the sole intention of escaping the boring, lifeless state of being by chasing the adrenaline, my body’s radically different. None of my pants fit me anymore, and my belt has many additional holes punched into it. The abdominal fat has drastically reduced, and my legs(both my calf muscles and thighs) have hardened into stone pillars with most of the fat chiseled away. My mind-body coordination is much better than ever before, and I can’t help but glorify running. But, running is not all that I do.
Some days I give myself absurd challenges, like, for example, doing 150 push-ups within the day, and that’s a painfully awesome experience. I’m not consistent with pushups, and I’d probably be better at it if I maintained a streak. A more regular challenge involves doing 100 sit-ups, which has become quite easy as I do it regularly. Sometimes it involves chest dips and an easier variant of pullups, but I make sure to give it a fun number to make sure I’ll have to feel the struggle of the fight I put up to get it done. These, along with many other workouts, give a glorious feeling of accomplishment on a day-to-day basis, along with a euphoric high caused by the cocktail of hormones that hit my brain while working out. I’m not a doctor and I’m going to look up the correct words for those hormones just to appear smarter than I am in this article, as the main point of this article is to glorify the very act of working out and praising the adrenaline high.
Consistency with these workouts has changed certain body parts and given me stretch marks on the shoulders and arms. Sometimes the high attained by doing an extremely powerful workout gives a feeling that’s similar to what Steve Rogers received at a scene in Captain America-The First Avenger when his body’s been changed by the super-soldier serum. Yes, this metaphor is a bit silly but extremely apt to describe the pump in the muscles, the adrenaline, and the other hormones flooding through the brain, and this is a feeling that is far more preferable compared to the experience of feeling like a lifeless cadaver from days spent in complete laziness. The pain of working out is way too awesome and might be the best and only antidote to the pain of inaction and laziness. Inaction is a passive pain, but a real evil, regardless of the excuse we give ourselves to justify our laziness.
I had never seen such physical results at the gym, as I’d take breaks between sets and not give it my all. The pandemic season has given my body drastic changes, in a good way, without the gym, as I worked out for only one selfish reason – to kill my boredom and feel alive by chasing the adrenaline. This makes me not take any breaks or slow down until I’m sure that I’ll collapse and pass out if I don’t stop. I know it’s a dangerous move to workout till the point of breakdown, but that’s how I experience the best euphoric bliss of workouts. I’m probably crazy for doing this, but I’m physically better than I’ve ever been and have no plans of slowing down. Physical workouts are a natural antidepressant that helps solve almost all problems emotional and physical alike, and it’s the most beneficial drug for anyone with a pathologically addictive personality. It’s a high that has to be earned through literal hard work and sweat, devoid of any method of cheating.
Being humans in the current era, we’re already hungry for whatever makes us feel good all the time. This being the reality we live in, working out and chasing the pump is by far the best feel-good drug to obsess over, as it’s both selfish and responsible at the same time in a positive way. I’d surely be unapologetically shameless while posting pics sometime in the next few months to both please my ego and inspire whoever I can at the same time while also seeing it as an opportunity to flex my creativity with some wild jokes.
And . . .