Triggering that exercise high

@postaday 56; #postaday2011

People often ask me why I get up at the butt-crack of dawn to exercise at 24-Hour Fitness Hawaii Kai. The short answer? Because I’m a mom and there isn’t any other time to do it. The longer answer is below. And for the record, this week I haven’t gotten up at 3:20 a.m. to work out at all this week. After three days straight of riding my bicycle in the wild, I figured I had a pass. I figured, who the heck needs to work out every day anyway? Last time I did that I got sick with a cold-flu-bronchitis-chest-phlegm festival for more than a month. I am at the tail end of that crap right now.

No. This week I luxuriated in bed until 5 a.m., got up and got ready for work. I no longer have to sprint to catch theBus, where I’m pretty certain I picked up that last germ. Now life is civilized. I get to drive and park at a structure near the office. Granted, it’s got the slowest elevator on Oahu, and as I wind up the structure I wonder where the chalk outline and the body bag is. Sketchy ‘hood and all.

But the other night when he got home, John asked me if I was getting up to work out early in the morning. I said no. I think he tssked at me. So I decided when I got home from work last night that I would ride my bicycle trainer in the living room for a #Spinervals session of torture with Coach Troy Jacobson. I’m home with the girls, I’m getting my workout, and supposedly, they were doing what they were supposed to. Sort of.

I slogged through last night’s workout in search of my exercise high. I don’t listen to music because the DVD commands my attention too much. During breaks, which at most were a minute long, I’d hit up my Words With Friends iPhone app and try to make some moves. We have a few indoor bicycling DVDs and the one I chose last night was called Suffer-O-Rama, a 45-minute sweat session that isn’t pretty. When Spinervals Coach Troy starts each session, he introduces the folks who are going to be training with me in their studio, or garage, or gym, or bicycle shop, or wherever it is. Nearly everyone is a triathlete. A lot are financial planners. There’s a physician, a mom, a dirt bike rider, and someone sponsored by Powerbar because she has a Powerbar sticker on her shirt. They all have great teeth. They all smile during their breaks. They all drip like me, so I can put up with the rest of their super-human flaws.

The bicycle that’s on my trainer is my first one and I used to ride it in the wild. Last night when I got on it, it seemed hard to pedal. Maybe it was me, but it was definitely difficult to get through that 45 minutes. I knew that the workout would make my Scattante an easy ride this weekend, so I slogged through to the end. And of course, we know why. It took the entire workout for me to start feeling the joy of sweat. I’m not talking endorphins, as everyone previously had thought were responsible for exercise highs. A few weeks ago, the New York Times ran a story about a study that begs to differ. According to scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology, it’s endocannabinoids and not endorphins that might be responsible for the joy of exercising.

And of course that leads to other joys as well. Heh. So, of course, I’m all for exercising and its various results. It’s just penciling in those times to release one’s endocannabinoids!

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. You’ve developed a nice website around the concept of promoting a fitness related lifestyle. You certainly have emphasized the point that it shouldn’t matter what your personal execise program consists of, whether it be running, hiking, biking or anything else. It is advantageous to have a plan that your comfortable with. The goal is a program for the long run, so it’s possible stick with it over a lifetime! I agree.

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