Sunday, June 29, 2014

Catastrophic Disruption Of Homeostasis

A newer-fangled idea in exercise physiology is the Central Governor Theory.  Literally your relatively sub-conscious brain will stop your body from going past your established physical limits.  The time frame of interference on the part of the central governor is a short one, not the slow build of physical erosion and stress associated with over-training.

This isn't "don't jump off that cliff," it's "taking the next stride any faster will pop your hamstring" or "stop immediately or you're going to pass out."  Or quite memorably, an example of trying to ignore your gov-nah, The Welch-Ingraham Crawl-Off.

On Monday, my professor described the center governor theory as "protecting against catastrophic disruption of homeostasis." (Homeostasis being when the variables in a system are regulated so that internal conditions remain stable and constant.)

When you think about it, the theory doesn't have to only apply to the regulation of physical status and output.  It can easily apply to changes in circumstances, schedules, and environment.  The governor (I *always* visualize this alien, albeit a little more robust, from Men In Black) could stand up and say "whoa, too many changes in too short a time, stop now or suffer immediate and deleterious consequences."

Hello, my name is Kelzie and my central governor has been hard at work.

When I got my student ID and saw it expired in 2019, I realized that until that moment I had been operating a little under the mind-set that I was just here on vacation.  My vacation mind-set made it seem like I wasn't experiencing as catastrophic a disruption of homeostasis as I actually was.

What I didn't explain at the outset is that sometimes, to experience a massive, physical break-through performance, you have to disregard and push past your governor.  For example, someone thinks their absolutely fastest mile time is 6:00 and then goes and smashes a 5:30 and realizes the barrier was all in their head....because often times it is.

Some people are better at this than others, not surprisingly.  Actually, I think some people are better at doing the smashing and some people are better at reestablishing homeostasis.  I'm probably more in the second group, but either way, both had to happen.  I had to come to grips with the big change, and then I had to get on getting on.

I guess that's a long way of saying that the last 12 days have been a long string of coming to grips and getting on getting on.  I am a good ways towards reestablishing homeostasis and shutting up the gov-nah.

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