Saturday, January 18, 2014

Exposing Lizard Brain...

DISCLAIMER:  I'm getting ready to write about The Whole9 Whole Athlete Seminar that I attended today.  I am not the best note taker and don't always hear concepts correctly.... so if' I am relating something I learned today in a way that is less than accurate... the fault lies with me the writer, not the presenters.  Dallas and Stephanie definitely know their stuff, while Kellie has the occasional challenge of "selective listening."  It is not my intention to review or provide opinion of their seminar, although I thought it was freaking awesome!  It is ONLY my desire to relate one portion of my take-away from the day. Clear? 

I haven't blogged since The Bastard 50k AAR because I've not been training, not really.  I can count the number of CrossFit sessions on one hand and this morning was my first run with the Bastards since our epic adventure on Dec 28th... 3 weeks ago.

Today was also the Whole Athlete Seminar. 7 hours of listening to Dallas Hartwig and Stephanie Gaudreau educate about 100 people on the ins and outs of healthy fueling and stress management for athletes.  This seminar opened with a brief refresher of the Whole 9 seminar "It Starts With Food" to make sure we all had the same foundation of knowledge and then it launched into topics specific to the needs of athletes.

The timing for me to hear this lecture and absorb the new material couldn't have possibly been better.  Today I learned the main reasons why I've not wanted to train for the 3 weeks and whereas in the past I'd have pushed through it and trained anyway, this time I honored my body and just passed on training.  I'd like to say the time off led to full recovery, but thanks to what I learned next, I can now see that wasn't the case.

You see, I also learned that people addicted to stress will somehow manage to recreate it no matter how much they are trying to manage it... unconsciously, of course. It's not only common with exercise addicts  it's applicable to all addicts, like yours truly.  No wonder my chronic psoriasis (autoimmune disease) never really improves... no sooner than I dial in my food, sleep and recovery, then I'll either add on a new responsibility in some area of my life, or I'll somehow create some type of drama with friends, coworkers, or family.  It's as if my body is so adapted to the eschewed cocktail of hormones and stuff that comes with chronic stress, that my lizard brain will always seek homeostasis by adding new stressors to offset all my "clean living" efforts.  Wow.   Sounds crazy, but it may help explain at least one of my recent decisions.

Case point... 2 days after the Bastard, I made a snap emotional decision that led to an unnecessary shit storm of physical and emotional drama, which lasted a good two weeks... effectively destroying the celebration of the accomplishment and offsetting all that wonderful "recovery" time I was taking off of training.  The wildest part is for the life of me I've not been able to really explain why I made that initial decision in light of my experience and common sense.  In hindsight it does seem like it was my lizard brain in charge of that one seemingly harmless action that led to such far flung consequences.

I used to think I needed to just be on guard for the behaviors that could lead me back to alcohol or drugs, now I realize that the insidiousness of addiction transfers to all areas of my life.  Fortunately, awareness is 9/10th's of the solution,.  Now that I know just how powerfully my lower brain will try to sabotage my best efforts at growth and healing, I get to consciously monitor my words and actions to make sure they actually match my intentions and goals.

It also means revisiting my 2014 goals to see where I've compounded the stressors instead of focusing on limiting them. I so love knowing that I control my destiny and am feeling wonderfully empowered by all the new knowledge and powerful tools provided by the amazing experts and mentors in my life right now.