4/11/13. I had an endorphin rush this morning. Thursdays are usually an easy day for me. I don't need to be anywhere until 9:30, and so I can turn the alarm off and wake up when I wake up. This is usually about 6:30.
It's nice to wake up naturally. I'm usually relaxed and in a good mood and looking forward to a day where I will probably do some things that matter, but without rushing.
The endorphin rushes are apparently a gift from running, but at this point they don't seem to be connected to running. They show up when they want to, although I think being well-rested, relaxed, and happy helps.
Sometimes when I'm waking up I sense that I'm feeling particularly good, and as I gain consciousness I recognize that I'm in the middle of a rush. It's important not to move. I've found that any movement breaks the rush -- it disappears like a spiderweb, and then I might as well get up and have breakfast.
So I just lie there and have the experience. It's a little difficult to describe. The mind is very clear. The body is very alive. And coursing through every single fiber of my being is this incredible, palpable supply of wellness.
A gift from the pituitary gland, apparently, or at least that seems to be the primary source. Or, frankly, it may not even be endorphins. It may be something called anandamide.
I don't care what you call it. I just know what happens. And I'm a firm believer in the link to running.
I'm not convinced that I've ever had an actual runner's high, a euphoric state that occurs during a long run or after you stop. But I have noticed some interesting things that happen to me at the end of marathons, and occasionally late in a long training run.
The definition of pain shifts. I don't know if the pain actually becomes less, but it loses the ability to dictate what you do. And time stops being something you measure with a clock. It becomes I was back there, now I'm here, soon I will go there. And sometimes it's just I am here.
If it's not endorphins, it's something that manages pain and reorients me to what matters.
And that's what happens to me every once in a while, on a Thursday morning or at some other random, unexpected time. I can't summon it. I can't schedule it. I don't know when it's coming. All I can do is pay attention when it shows up, and be grateful.