Wringing Out Your Sponge
I typically don’t write anything personal on here, but today we have a guest post. My Endorphins. This dialogue (or rather monologue, maybe even soliloquy) occurs each and every time before my spinning class.
Before Class- is that the alarm I hear? for the class? Why did I do that yesterday? Let me snooze and get those extra seven minutes in. *7 minutes pass* Is that the damn alarm for the spin class? I don’t really want to go, I’m a really busy person and I need to replenish by sleeping in and hanging out with my family. I’m gonna make everybody a big breakfast. Yeah, a nice big country style breakfast. Yum. Well, I don’t have bacon, and I ran out of pancake mix and I think there might be three eggs left in the refrigerator. Fine, I’ll go to spin class.
During Class- it’s really early. I never get these shoes into the clips properly. I think this is part of the work out. The lights are on and there is my peppy and highly energetic spin teacher (she probably does *not* have children) bouncing onto her bike. I bet she’s going to brunch sometime today with friends like I used to. Oh, Barbie, remember Sunday Funday. Oh the debauchery and degenerates, how fun. Ok ok ok, here we go, music is starting. Hmm, this song. I like this song. I love watching my form in the mirror. Left right left right. Oh yeah, I have got this pulse and tension thing down. Yes, Snoop Dogg! ....drop it like it’s hot.... Wait, that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out all week. Every drip of sweat feels like a solution to a conundrum during the day or week.. How come the clouds just parted and I see clearly now. Ohmygosh, *That’s* what my therapist meant by that...how is this unfolding right between my sweaty eyes. I hate my husband. YESSSS, NIN. Trent Reznor you are a genius. My God, I’m so in love with my husband. Yes Lizzo, I am 100% that bitch. Woo hoo! Oh, this is the last song. Stretch stretch streeeeeeeeeetch.
After Class- Smiling at class mates as we wipe our bikes and leave the room. I’m a goddess. I told my body what to do today and it did it for me like a boss. I’m so grateful for my body and the things I can do. I cannot wait to use this body to organize stuff in my house. I think I’m going to go rollerskating with the girls today. And I’m gonna pull out that jump rope and teach them how to double Dutch. I want to be good to my body, I need a green juice. I’m reserving a spot for tomorrow’s class too!!
Rinse. Lather. Repeat to every spinning class.
If you are a client of mine or daughter or husband or friend, I say things like “you need to wring your sponge out”. We have a certain capacity for things and at some point you become saturated, and you can’t clean anything. You’re just spreading salmonella on the kitchen counter. What exercise does other than wring our sponges out is improve our mood. Physical activity produces endorphins- chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. I’ve always thought it was awesome that we have a “pharmacy” that we can always access in our brain. It also boosts energy. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your heart and cardiovascular system work more efficiently.
What does it mean “endorphins are released”? If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. Your heart pressure increases, fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress release of protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This BDNF has a protective and also a reparative element to your memory neurons and act as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy. At the same time endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, is released in your brain. These tend to minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain and are associated with a feeling of euphoria.
There are plenty of ways in which you can access this “pharmacy” with movement that don’t cost any money and doesn’t require any fancy equipment or memberships. Dance party at home, yard work, walk/jog/run, play at the playground (like, really play play), volunteer to walk dogs at a rescue, have a tickle war with your kid (laughing is a pharmacy bonus if you are into extra credit), go up an down your stairs blaring your favorite music, do those hard chores and work up a sweat, etc.
These are all ways that you can dispel the stressors that your sponge has soaked up all day or week. Movement is Magic.