She’s going down; I’m yelling TIMBER!

Let’s talk a moment about the autonomic nervous system.  It’s not something that we think about that often because, well, we don’t have to. However the ANS is critical to everything from breathing to pooping to blood pressure.  The sympathetic system  handles “fight or flight” response, and that parasympathetic handles normal day to day duties.  When you workout you are stressing your sympathetic system.  When you are stressed (school, work, etc)  you are aggravating the sympathetic system.  There’s a really cool set of videos from Crash Course on it, if you are truly interested, but I digress…

Have you ever driven through the countryside and witnessed a beautiful stone wall that’s being buttressed by wood supports?  You know that with one strong gust of wind that the  buttresses are going to give way and the whole wall is going to come down leading to a domino effect for miles?  In effect, that’s me on a normal basis, I’m being held together by a series of buttresses (super clean diet, extra Vitamin C, asthma meds, etc).  Throw in a stress (hypothermia, grad school, etc) and TIMBER….

Having asthma, which is an autoimmune disorder, already makes me unlike the other kids on the playground.  I have to be super careful with my diet (crap in=weak immune system=lots of sick days) and I have to be vigilant of when/where/how I exercise to try to minimize exposures to things that will give me an asthma attack because dying isn’t on my list of things to do, right now anyway.

However, ever since hypothermia I’ve been struggling.  My fingers have been experiencing Raynaud’s more than I’d care to admit.  I’ve been exhausted all the time.  Weight at CrossFit that is normally a piece of cake has gotten hard.  My heart rate has been spiking on runs when it normally stays very steady thanks to all of the Maffetone training.  My internal thermostat has decided to go on the fritz.  All of these individually are bad, but in combination and they are signs that I need a system reset.

With careful consideration, discussions with Doc and Sainted Mary it has been decided I’m going to take a week off.  Nothing.  No CrossFit, no runs, no anything.  I’m going to be upping my Omega-3s (chia, flax, walnuts) and antioxidants (leafy greens, berries) even more than their normal levels to help reduce the inflammation in my system.  After a week, I’m going to see how I feel.  If after two weeks off if I’m not back to normal, then it’s time for Doc to do some deeper digging.   Fingers crossed that just some time off is all that is required.  I just want to be like the other kids on the playground……

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