While cruising to work: one rather warm afternoon. Enjoying a monologue with myself, as one to often does on a daily basis. An elder gentleman, eased past me on his slightly outdated push bike. Now, embarrassment wasn’t the first thought that came to mind (this has happened on the many). It was awe of this gentleman’s grace in passing me; along with his impressive quadriceps, plantar flexors and sound lumbopelvic dissociation.
The inspiration of this blog is the matter of fact; that this gentleman, who could easily be in his early seventies, by the look of his elastin.. could be regarded as being in a phenotype of his own. By phenotype I mean (while trying to type with humility) That with my experience in the clinic; along with Darwinian observation; most seventy-something year olds don’t possess the phenotypic characters this gentleman has. Now, without sounding to harsh or giving credit to Botulinum toxin. There are plenty of examples of wonderful athletic achievements out there in the aforementioned gentlemans age cohort.
This however shouldn’t be a rarity!
I could rant all day about the benefits of having robust overall health:
Improved stroke volume and growth factors (vascular endothelial growth factor)
White and Grey matter density (hippocampal neurogenesis)
Decreased risk of sarcopenia and osteopenia.
Improved sleep (especially REM)
The list goes on peeps!
Can you read that I am slightly antagonising you all (all ages implied) to do more: from the three pounds that lighty (with the help of cerebral spinal fluid) encases your skull, to the eight six billion neurons that govern so much of your consciousness (still within scientific debate); your heart, peripheral nerves and so forth!
Don’t wait until you get into your seventies peeps!
What I am about to write: is coming from an eclectic range of anecdotal sources. Hopefully tying together nicely; like a DIY project.
I have written before about the sympathetic nervous system, along with the HPA axis. A network of brain regions that work like a Ferrari on DRS (drag reduction system). Although DRS is used to overtake another vehicle. The HPA axis is a paradox to DRS in a way.
Follow the HPA link if you want to more, as I am very good at going on a tangent…
A few weeks back I found myself in an interesting face off with my inner narrative.
I was at the movies seeing the latest Star Wars film. Just out of my visual field at 3 o’clock, two young ladies decided to have a dialogue of their own throughout the WHOLE film. Being confined to the theatre, while being sensitive to others energies (I am an empath). The suffocation of sorts was starting to build up; along with my HPA axis and ego. I like to call my ego ‘James Bond’. He (metaphorically) is very quick with his tongue, enjoys an intellectual stoush; all of which to feel superior; consider himself (still metaphorically) a Nobel Laureate. Sounds like a flog to me! However, we all have this ego whether we like it or not! A challenge of the human experience is to be at peace within one’s mind. As the ego is consistently sifting for validation, suffering is the ultimate root cause that the ego is dealing with.
As I could feel my ego conjuring up as many intellectual insults, my increasing systolic blood pressure, stroke volume and endogenous neuromodulators were priming for action. Thankfully my inner pilot came in, it’s voice, is rather distinct from my ego. It (in third person) metacognitively speaks rationally to me, calming down all of the aforementioned unnecessary physiological/neurochemical weapons you could say. And in essence the sympathetic nervous system can be used so recklessly: in an argument or heinous act of violence et cetera. A book that I was reading at that time ‘The Quantum And The Lotus”; a brilliant dialogue between a scientist and buddhist monk. Helped reinforce to me the importance of altruism, and using the human mind for the greater good of science & humanity. All though, difficult at first: showing compassion towards the two young women, allowed my heart to stay warm & open.
I owe a lot of my inner pilot to meditation, journaling, interoception, watching (creepy, I know), listening, LEARNING and of course books!