I believe, I believe!

…. in endorphins. I do. They’re the best.

Do you know what endorphins are? Look it up in your Webster. It’s something (peptides?) that your brain produces. “Resembling opiates” is what my Webster said. And I believe it. I’m addicted.

So this post is kind of my Love Letter to Endorphins.

I love to exercise. Well, I take that back. I love the after-effects of exercising. I live for tough, sweaty workouts. Well, I guess I take that back, too. I love the afterglow and high that I feel after a tough, sweaty workout.

I’ve been working out, in one form or another, all of my adult life. I got hooked in my 20’s when I was living in Corona del Mar, where I’d run along the Pacific blue and attend high-impact aerobics classes. Daily. And when I would teach the Saturday 10:00 a.m. aerobics class, I WAS Jennifer Beal in Flashdance. (For you 40-somethings and younger (brats), you have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?)

And then came my 30’s and 40’s. Marriage-hood and Mom-dom happened. And the addiction continued. The #1 prerequisite to a home purchase was always how close said home was to a gym and running. 

To seek sanity and mental health, and to pursue the dream of cottage cheese-free, thin thighs, I would run (well “jog” is the more apropos word, right, Julie?) and/or work out five to seven days a week.
It got to the point where, when Cassidy and Julia were little and things got stressful (ahem) around the house, my husband would beg me to go for a run or a workout. Smart guy. He knew my endorphin high would rid myself (and him, hopefully) of my Mom-Angst, Husband-Anger, Court Reporter-Overload, or whatever the “stress du jour” was. And nowadays I go to rid myself (and him, hopefully) of Hormones-Gone-Wild and Empty-Nester-Anxiety/Depression. And, of course, to try to eradicate (okay, minimize, let’s be realistic) the ravages of what time and gravity is doing to this body of mine.

~~ Cue the sounds of screeching brakes and crashing ~~

On March 30, 2006, I had arthroscopic knee surgery. My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. C, said I’d be back running in three months. Until he got in there and observed all the damage that had been done. He retracted what he said and strongly suggested I not run anymore.  As in, never again. Another major Uh-Oh moment in this Growing Older journey. Big! Fat! Bummer!

But back to the endorphins. 
~~ Cue the beautiful piano music ~~

While I continue to mourn the loss of my running days, I am still able to get that exhilirating endorphin high by working out on the Elliptical or (my beloved) StairClimber. My heart rate escalates. I sweat. I am invincible. I move/step/glide at Level 11-16, while visions of fat-on-my-thighs-going-up-to-Cottage-Cheese-Heaven dance in my head.  I can conquer my day — or do a stellar job trying!

And it is blissful.

For this ever-changing body, in this constantly-evolving world, the endorphin high is the one and only thing that has remained a constant in my life. Do I sound like a Drama Queen?  Sorry. But it’s true.

If you are not yet addicted to endorphins, I recommend you get hooked ASAP. It’s good for your body, your health, and your psyche. No matter your age — whether you’re a brat (aka younger than me) or way older than me, it is not too late.

Carpe YOUR diem, and get high…on endorphins.  And you, too, will become a believer.


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About Me

It's true! Despite playing defense virtually all my life against the onslaught of this sometimes-ugly aging process, it...has...arrived! I naively thought I would escape cellulite (the Cottage Cheese) and crow's feet (the Crepe Paper). But I didn't! And why didn't anyone tell me about this emotional roller-coaster that comes with being an Empty-Nester?! My name is Jodie Barringer Myers. I'm a 54-year-old Friday/chardonnay/ hydrangea-loving wife/mom/court reporter living in Sacramento (Gold River!), California. Writing is cathartic for me. And because I look to find humor and humility among the rubble that is my now very peri-menopausal self, I'm hopeful that you will laugh, cry, learn, enjoy and, most of all, relate to what I have to say. After all, we're all in this together, right?

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