Hi. My name is Angie and I'm addicted to endorphins.
I really have no other addictions in my life. Well... okay. I'm addicted to air. Food. Clean water. And there could be argument made that I'm addicted to my computer and caramel cashew ice cream. But other than those very reasonable and necessary matters, there's nothing else that holds me bound to the slavery of its addictive grip.
I have a tendency to over-exercise, you see. I remember confiding this once to a friend about two years ago, telling her very seriously I thought I might be too obsessed about exercising, wondering if it was becoming an unhealthy dependency in my life that caused me to perhaps neglect other important duties. She looked blankly at me, obviously not registering the validity of my concern. Reading her mind, I saw, "You seriously want me to feel bad for you because you can't say no to a treadmill?". I felt foolish and quickly changed the subject, but it was a learning moment for me.
I wish I could say that learning moment lead to a change in my behavior, but alas, it seemed to serve only as empty self-realization. However, over time, I believe I have found a way to better balance my addiction to exercise more evenly with my other priorities. Whereas many addictions take away from family, work, and relationships, I like to think the benefits of my exercising are adding to them. Making me just a little better at what I do and who I am.
I still have my moments, though. Last night, for example: I was scheduled for a cross-training workout, which, although I take off from running, inevitably turns out to be my hardest workout of the week. I'd had a busy day at work-- the kind that makes my brain feel numb by the time I clock out. A short cat nap left me feeling fuzzy and I was enduring another monthly round of cramps that make my insides feel like they're being wrung out like a wet washcloth. It was a perfect day to take off from working out. Take a warm bath, crawl into bed with a heating pad, close my eyes and put an early end to this particular day of my life.
I couldn't stand taking a day off from a scheduled workout, so I bucked up and went to the gym. And what started off a little slowly quickly turned into another kick-butt, sweat-soaked, take-no-prisoners workout. My endorphin buzz kicked in and I rode the high.
So, yes. Endorphins are my vice. Sometimes I give into them when I really ought not to, for the betterment of my physical well-being. But I've decided that's okay. It's all about listening to the needs of my inner-self to maintain that healthy physical, mental and emotional balance that helps everything else just fall into place.
If you'll excuse me now, my inner self is needing caramel cashew ice cream.