Anxiety Disorders and Cycling

Evolution may have turned us from swinging in the trees to
hunting and gathering on the plain over millions of years but nothing could
have prepared us for the last hundred thousand years. When we needed extra
stimulation when running from a bear or chasing a rabbit our glands secrete
adrenalins and other exotic stimulants into our blood stream, like a drag car
injects super fuels into their engines to augment the gasoline. This helps to push
you past what your conservative economical fuel system is set up to do. We
needed to conserve our energy while we wandered in search of food but when a
threat or potential meal is recognized we switch to this alternative system and
run our engine on high test while we avoid becoming a meal or strive after one
that is intent on escape. For millions of years this system has evolved in
mammals and specifically in our species.

 

It’s a complex system that involves our glands, our brains,
our muscles and our nervous systems. First we fixate on a cue, then stop
breathing, stop moving and focus on the cue, which we attempt to isolate the
cue with our sight and hearing so that our brain in the next mille-second will
decide to fight or flight and our body will carry it out. While our brain
computes our nervous system prepares our body. Glands secret adrenalin and
nor-adrenalin and other exotic stimulants into our blood stream so that when
our brain decides we will have the high test fuel available to burn hot, while
we get ready for fight or flight for our lives. Then we act out, down a focused
path the brain has chosen for us.

This burst of energy will only last for a few minutes and it
will cost us later but there is only a later if we are successful. Then comes
the reward, a big shot of the feel good stuff as our brain rewards our
successful behavior, making getting away from the bear exhilarating or eating
the little bunny taste like the most amazing thing you have ever eaten. This
worked well for hundreds of thousands of years for us as an undomesticated
species and allowed us the nutrition to grow brains big enough to paint us into
the corner we are now in.

 

Now we are domesticated, house broken and disciplined by our
societies to the point that we will probably never have to run away from a
tiger or run down a bunny and eat it raw. That could change quickly if the USA,
Greece and Italy defaults but chances are you are still going to have to stand
patiently in line, live peaceable with your spouses, take crap from your boss
and slowly become anchored to a couch in front of a TV or like me now hunched
in front of a glowing screen. So all day long you build up all this high test
in your blood stream until it reaches toxic levels and still we do nothing. We neither
run away nor run after anything until we are like over inflated balloons in a
room full of sharp things. We have become so far removed from these behaviors
that when do not even know that there could be an amazing reward just around
the corner if we would just do something about it. It is almost like not having
sex enough to remember there is an orgasm waiting just around the corner.
Obviously procreation was important enough to us that the link remains firm,
hence the billions of people crowding the planet. The problem is that we are
usually not in good enough anaerobic shape to get to the reward part of
exercising our flight or fight mechanism but once you are able to get to this
reward you will become addicted. As creatures based on addictions my advice is
to choose your addictions very carefully.

 

You can get there in more enlightened ways that running down
a bunny and eating it raw, you could ride a bike. We have created a very
intense stressful polluted environment in which to live and almost stopped
moving our bodies since the use of fossil fuels and we are in denial about our
bodies and our minds since domestication. We have become full of toxic
chemicals that we made for a purpose but domestication has taken away the
ability to act out. Those that do are taken away as a message to those who
stand in line patiently, in little mazes, waiting patiently until it is our
turn. Would you rather live in a world were the strongest push you out of the
way in the bank line up, no we desire order pathologically.

 

But you can do something about it; you can ride your bike.
Start out gently on some easy rides and within a few months your body will want
more and more difficult rides. Soon you will be in good enough shape to burn
off the go fast stuff you made all day and get to the reward.

 

Not having that stuff in your bloodstream will change your
life. Sometimes anxiety issues will dissipate by themselves when denied the
high test. Other issues besides anxiety issues can also resolve themselves by
burning off of these toxic substances through anaerobic exercise, like eating
disorders and mood disorders. Physical advantages like avoiding obesity,
getting in good shape cardiovascularly can also help far more than Viagra or
its many clones.

 

Anxiety will fade without the go fast fuel for it to feed
on. No longer will you be like someone in a room full of gasoline, with pockets
full of dynamite and ready to strike a match to see better in the dark. Riding
will, once you get into good enough shape to benefit from it, help reduce the
negative and enhance the positive. So go for it.

 

 

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