Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Strength Profile: Battlefield

April is Stress Awareness Month, did you know that?

This graphic (courtesy of Fast Company) has some interesting statistics and numbers on it.  Some I think are a little skewed...for example, mental health issues being 5 times more prevalent among high school and college students now than in 1938...well ok, but how many *more* students are there now than there were back then?  And how much more emphasis is there now than back then is there on getting a good education? I tend to take unqualified statistics with a grain of salt...but that's just me. :-}  However, 80 of the 15,000 words spoken are swear words, 2/3 of which are said out of stress?  That means on average we're cussing from stress every 20 or so minutes (assuming a waking time of 16 hours out of 24).  Working in software, I can see how that's not an unreasonable estimate, but it really gets me cathartic as a well-placed expletive can be, there have to be more effective (or at least more socially acceptable in an office setting) methods of immediately venting steam.  Maybe instead of an expletive, taking an extra second to come up with a completely ridiculous word that *sounds* obscene to yell instead would be even better...then you get not only yourself but all coworkers within earshot giggling at whatever nonsense you've just yelled.  In fact, just to help with this goal, here's a list of silly cussing alternatives (courtesy of this guy and some other sites around the interwebs):
  • Beeotch
  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Cheese and Rice
  • Cheeses
  • Crud
  • Dag Nab It
  • Darn
  • Diablo
  • F-ing
  • Farging Icehole
  • Fiddle Sticks
  • For Rice Cakes!
  • Freaking
  • Frickin 'A
  • Fudge
  • Geez
  • Gosh Darnit
  • Heck
  • Holy Cow!
  • Horse pucky
  • Jiminy Crickits!
  • Judas Priest
  • Kawabunga
  • Piddle
  • Pluck it
  • Poo
  • Shaving Cream
  • Sheesh
  • Shiitaki mushrooms
  • Shiznit
  • Shucks
  • Shut the front door
  • Son of a Gun
  • Son of a Mother
  • Son of a biscuit eater
  • Son of a motherless goat
  • Sons a' Guns
  • Sufferin Succotash
  • Sugar
  • Sunny beach
  • Tinkle
  • William Shatner
  • gee willikers
  • gracious me
  • great scott
  • heaven's to betsy
  • gee whiz
  • durn
  • balderdash
  • cripes
  • blimey
  • shoot
  • drat
  • land sake's 
  • jeepers
  • blast and tarnation
  • jiminy
  • gadzooks
  • huzzah
  • by jingo
  • pshaw
  • hot diggity
  • criminy
  • my word
  • egads
So there you go, it's a start.

Personally, when I'm stressed I have a tendency to get fighty.  I don't like feeling out of control, so I tend to fight with whatever (or, unfortunately, whoever) is available.  It's a bad habit that's taken many years to overcome, but with some self-patience and a whole lot of exercise, I think I've managed to get reigns on the beast and use that habit for good...for the most part.  (Disclaimer: all claims of personal habits come with an implied "but I'm not perfect, so don't fault me if I slip up from time to time".)

To that end, I give you: The Battle

This profile is based on one I got from, tweaked to fit a 45-minute format.  This is week #3 of strength rides for us, so it's a series of 3 hills with power surges scattered throughout.  I left the cues on the card (I print these on index cards) pretty vague, since it's a profile I can definitely use later on, with a different theme. The point of this ride is to challenge yourself, make yourself stronger, and fight to overcome whatever it is that's causing you stress today.  It could be as simple as fighting with your hair this morning, or as complex as tough family/medical/work/life situations.  Whatever is making you angry today, bring it to the bike and leave it there.

There are only 8 songs to this playlist, including a couple epic scores that are over 10 minutes a piece.  I won't lie...I'm nervous about this, and I have a back up playlist, in case the vibe is wrong tonight.  The last hill is basically the entire climactic battle scene from POTC: At World's End.  There are no words to any of the songs after minute 8, giving this potential to be either really boring or a very very personal ride, depending on who's in the mood for what.  I'm going to head to the gym early tonight to ride some of this on my own first and see if it works.  If it doesn't, I have backup rides I can use (I'm looking at you, Sawtooth). 

So, there ya have it.

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