Are You Addicted to Adrenaline?

by lindsay cotter on June 2, 2014

As athletes, runners, cyclists, fitness enthusiasts, we thrive off adrenaline. Each week we hammer away at our workouts, seek to master a long run or ride, and chase after that endorphin “high.”

sherpa time

With this feeling comes a sense of being invincible. To continue to PUSH through, do more, lift more, BE MORE in our everyday lives. And before we know it, we’ve run on that adrenaline week after week without any rest. Our quest for endurance has gone too far and our bodies (and minds) are left somewhat confused at why we are doing what we are doing. Sound familiar?

mizuno run[4]

Last week I set out for a regular hour run on the trails and lasted all of three minutes. Now don’t get me wrong, my body was not tired and I am confident that I could have convinced it to ENDURE the rest of the run, but my mind had other plans. It decided it no longer wanted to endure what was not needed. Thankfully, I live with the one smart triathlete, and he has taught me that pushing through the miles just for the sake of it is a waste of energy. A rather poor excuse for an adrenaline rush. So I walked and let my mind UN-endure what it had persevered through days and weeks before.

photo

Where am I going with this?

Can one be addicted to the adrenaline rush of stress? Sadly, I think so.

“When we come into contact with stress, our natural response is to push through.

We don’t want to be in need or fail to meet others’ expectations, especially our own.” – Bonnie Gray

So maybe we need to stop creating these habits and start breaking them instead! Breaking the habit of taking on (enduring) more “stuff” week after week. You know, that adrenaline junkie habit of working more and busying more, which leaves us UNDOING more.

20140531_ReneeSwope_undoing

How do we replace endurance filled weeks with more purposeful LESS is MORE living?

  • We recognize that this adrenaline feeling is not sustainable. Even the elite cannot push through back to back weeks. They need rest and recovery.
  • We learn to recognize and LISTEN to the angel on our shoulder. The one that says get out of the rat race. It’s a trick! Speeding through life doesn’t bring any victory.
  • We talk it out. Whether it be to friends, family, or spouses. We get real, because I guarantee you someone else can relate or has been in your shoes before.
  • We stop focusing on just getting through the day, the week, the month, and we start cherishing the moment we are in. Get good at it! Take a walk break and disconnect.

walk

  • We nourish. I think one of the best ways for me to back off the “high” of go go go weeks is to cook a meal. I mean really slow down and prepare a meal from scratch. I think spending time in the kitchen can almost bring me back to homeostasis. Winking smile

balsamic glazed scallops

The only thing that is REALLY worth enduring (to me) is following God’s plan for us. With HIS strength, we can sustain that weekly RUSH of the journey.

ENDURE less and ENJOY more –> MARVELOUS!

thehealthydiva_thumb.jpg

 

I may have used “we” throughout the post, but do realize I am preachin to the choir here (ME). ;)

 What are your thoughts?

Cheers!

LC

p.s. I think many of you will find this article about Modern Day stress a great read!

Will you?

{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Candace June 3, 2014 at 9:59 am

Love this, Lindsay! It sounds like you have your priorities straight – to follow God’s plan :). I have never been addicted to the adrenaline of a workout, but I spent many years addicted to life stress. When my life normalized, it was hard for me to come to grips with. You made such a great choice that day to slow down, walk, and enjoy the moment!

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Heather @ Better With Veggies June 3, 2014 at 10:02 am

Absolutely!! Although sometimes we need to learn when to endure and when to give up, it can be a tricky balance sometimes. That’s where it’s so great to have a God that wants to help us prioritize. :)

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Jessica June 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm

This is so fantastic. Coming from a runner who is currently taking some time off to heal some injured knee tissue, this is a perfect post. Thanks for being so awesome. :)

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LCCotter June 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm

hope your journey to healing is a good one! i know it will be. Keep me posted Jess!

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Domi @ Eat, Pray, Lift June 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Amen, high-five, and a big “yeehaaaw!” to all of the above! God has been teaching me more and more lately the necessity of REST. At the end of the day, we have to trust that our identity is not lost when we stop doing/enduring/achieving/going…we have to trust that our value and fulfillment come from HIM alone.

Good words, friend. :)

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LCCotter June 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm

amen to that sista! <3 your wisdom

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm

I’ve never really thought about it that way, but you raise a really awesome point! I honestly feel like I’m addicted to stress sometimes… because I’ve gotten so used to feeling it, that the absence of it makes me feel like I’m slacking? Or that I’m not accomplishing all that I could be? Ugh. It’s vicious. I try to disconnect and just do things for relaxation, but I constantly have those thoughts creeping in that I could be doing something more useful :?

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LCCotter June 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm

that’s what i was trying to get at, yes! it’s hard. it’s the fear of failing oneself. Like we are not be “productive.” But that’s not how God wants to live, ya know? We should find rest in ALL things, not just exercise. Ohh how i am needing my own advice

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Michele @paleorunningmomma June 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Amanda 100% relate! I used to have a hard time explaining that feeling to people, like if I’m not really struggling I’m not being all I can be…I’ve let that go because I wound up injured and sick and learned my lesson! But I really still have a tendency to feel that way!

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) June 4, 2014 at 8:36 am

I can so relate to this! I swear, my view of fitness has changed BIG TIME since becoming a trainer and teaching fitness classes. I used to think my workouts and the workouts I led were two different things. Simply because I wasn’t necessarily teaching what I wanted to do that day…I still wanted to get my “high” off of my workout. Not the case anymore. I have walked away from many a workouts and I have felt better for it. It’s a mental game for sure and finding a healthy mindset about fitness is really so important. Many occasions recently, I’ve forgone the intense workout for a nice slow walk and a slow healthy meal. Food really is fuel and sometimes focusing on slow movements and a fresh healthful meal is really the perfect “adrenaline push” I need. You are just too darn wise. Love you lady! xoxo

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Heather Williams June 8, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Love this post. I can so relate. My head is always a ball full of stress that I almost run off of it by this point. I’m always wanting to do more, move more, accomplish more, and never feel like I have enough time. Sleep is literally the only time I’m not “doing” something. Thank you for writing this- I think this is a message a good bit of us need to remember. Life is short and shouldn’t be run on a constant “high” of adrenaline. Thank you:)

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LCCotter June 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm

yes!! totally. I am trying to take my own advice too! stress less, and sleep more !haha

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets June 8, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Aw, I love this post. The kitchen rights my homeostasis too, especially when it’s a simple and purposeful meal, usually accompanied by a glass of wine.

I used to be an adrenaline junkie, and to some degree I still am, although I’ve learned how to throw rest and relaxation into the mix too so I don’t overdo it. It took a long time for me to be ok with doing that and not feel guilty, but man is it worth it in the long run.

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Peter June 18, 2014 at 5:16 am

I was addicted to the adrenaline of stress for years. I have been doing stuff just to feel productive, just to have some stress of a deadline hanging in the future. It took going close to a breakdown in order to unwind and change my lifestyle. I take days off now, I go fishing. I have realized that resting is a necessity.

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