Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Positive Addiction

I just re-read the book “Positive Addition” by William Glasser, MD. Here is the synopsis of the book taken from the back cover of the paperback edition that I have:

“A hallmark of Dr. Glasser’s work is his insistence that people can change themselves and improve their lives. It is possible, he says, to become ‘addicted’ to positive behavior – for instance running or meditating, or some other activity performed for a specific period each day. These positive addictions – contrary to negative addictions to drugs, alcohol, smoking, or even overeating or excessive caffeine —can strengthen a person so he or she can overcome such negative addictions and lead a more integrated and rewarding life.”

My problem is my withdrawal from riding and not replacing it often enough with other forms of exercise to maintain my positive addiction. Instead I’m back sliding into the negative addictions of overeating AND excessive caffeine (as evidenced by the grande skinny latte with an extra shot of expresso habit I’ve been falling into).

This book reminds me of why I need to get back to my positive addiction of regular and consistent exercise when I am unable to ride. Glasser’s research was done primarily with runners and people who meditated on a daily basis, including those who practiced yoga with meditation (now I have a better understanding of how Catus-Eyed Joe got addicted to yoga). But I think all cyclists can relate to the experience of positive addiction described by personal antidotes of the runner’s quoted in the book – just replace the running terms with cycling terms and see if you agree.

“…the rhythm of running/cycling at a high cadence is a strong element. Sometimes problems get solved while I am running/cycling …but it’s not a figuring out process. More of a sudden flash of insight that comes when you are least trying to find an answer. I think worrying and running/cycling are impossible to do at the same time.”

“Everybody should run/ride a bike. It would drown hates, aggression, make people happier, create a greater sense of self-worth. ….If everybody ran/rode a bike, the revolution would be accomplished, the automobile eliminated, idiotic luxuries and compulsions abolished, proper priorities established, the environment saved, classes of racism ended.”


Road Legs said...

you mean to say you can have to much caffeine? say it is not so

Tez said...

I am with Road Legs on the caffeine kick! Could not go with out during the week. Weekends I am fine but during the week, I gotsta have it!

You are heading in the right direction for getting back into exercising after all the first step is realizing there is a problem....hahaha