Friday, March 28, 2008

Flashback Friday: Chasing the Dragon

I remember the moment I was hooked on running. Two years ago this month I started running very slowly in shoes a size two small and few years past their prime. I was running one-mile loops around my neighborhood and one day I had a clear thought that I can keep on going. So I did.

I ran three miles and when I was done I looked around my neighborhood awestruck at what I had just done breathing heavy, seeing the sky a truer blue and sparkling, iridescent gnats floating around to tell me that my body wasn't getting quite the oxygen it needed. I had a similar feeling before but it was not legally obtained.

So this was the fabled runners' high.

It turns out that high was exactly that. A team of German scientists published a study that proves that heavy exercise releases endorphins in the body, according yesterday's New York Times. Those endorphins can create the feeling of euphoria. That's great news. Now, when some snide character asks us why we run we can say, To get high, man.
"Medical technology has caught up with exercise lore. Researchers in Germany, using advances in neuroscience, report in the current issue of the journal Cerebral Cortex that the folk belief is true: Running does elicit a flood of endorphins in the brain. The endorphins are associated with mood changes, and the more endorphins a runner’s body pumps out, the greater the effect."
Rad, right? Totally.

So like now am I chasing the dragon? I mean I never feel as high as I did the first time, man. Total bummer. But I keep trying to get that feeling back. It just never feels as cool as it did. But I'm not going to quit now. I like it too much. I mean maybe I'm addicted but I wouldn't say I have a problem really. I mean, right?



Nitmos said...

Right on. Ride the snake, chase the dragon, whatever. At least, there's not a ridiculous tax attached to this "high"...yet.

B. Kramer said...

Watch out for more tests. We are all lab rats now. I fear a reboot of the MK-ULTRA experiments ... thanks for reading nitmos.

Laura said...

I saw one post on the runner's high and was going to post my own... but now it seems that everyone has already covered it. You are too quick of a blogger for me!