Resilience from ATP Science
“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun”
- Napoleon Hill
Resilience: an ability to recover from, or adjust easily to misfortune or change
Have you ever put your hand on something hot and removed it before you felt the heat?
Have you ever felt something tickle your nose and then you immediately sneeze?
Have you ever had a sneezing fit and then asked yourself, “what was that? Dust? Pollen? Feather? Fragrance?”
We can’t afford to wait to assess a stress before we react. What if that tap on your leg was a venomous snake bite or a shark bite leaving a big bleeding hole. Or what if it was an opposing footballer trying to tackle you in a game? Your body must react as if it is life threatening, just in case.
(this may explain why Neymar dives and cradles his legs…poor bugger must think a shark rose up from the pitch and attacked him on the soccer field!)
SURVIVAL VERSUS OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE
So, now that we are convinced that survival is important, what do we do? Stimulate survival pathways and live forever! Stimulate and promote your immune activity and aggression.
When you stimulate your nervous survival techniques and you become an anxious, panicked insomniac that is thinking so much you have no idea what you were about to do. Your eyes are working hard for data and exert so much effort you can’t even read the paper in front of you. You become a tired but wired idiot.
If we stimulate and maximize our immune and inflammatory reactions, or prime it to be working overtime in anticipation, we will have a terrible quality of life and possibly reduced lifespan.
It is actually your immune system that makes you feel lousy when you have a cold or the flu, not the infecting bug. It is your immune response that determines how sick you feel. The pain associated with a sprain or bad back is your response to the trauma, you make the inflammation. Overstimulating survival mechanisms will create exaggerated responses, excessive mucous, fever, pain, aches, oxidative stress, and reactions. All aspects of aging have an inflammatory component.
For optimal performance, we want to be resilient. We want to be able to adjust, respond and recover quickly. Be tougher. Launch an efficient and effective defense and then switch off as soon as possible to protect the host (you) from your own defense mechanisms.