Seriously I am beginning to think the endorphin rush is an urban legend developed to fuel the sweat-soaked dreams of many. Just the infamous placebo effect working its wicked wiles on the exhausted, light-headed, oxygen-starved jocks.
Till now I have never reached that high. After a miserable half hour on the elliptical, all I'm feeling is tired, sweaty and bloody irritated. Any amount of enthusiastic encouragement given by the friendly neighbourhood trainer would probably be unfairly rewarded with a barbell bounced off his sculpted head.
But yes, much to everyone's surprise - including myself - I have been visiting the gym irregularly for the past few weeks. And not only to drool over the shirtless patrons.
Feel the burn?
No, I certainly have no intention of developing the much-envied six-pack or even the seductive Apollo's belt. All I want to do is avoid falling into the sad cliche of the sedentary workaholic dropping dead from a sudden heart attack in his mid-thirties.
Several months back while doing nothing much in particular, I suddenly suffered a disagreeable spasm somewhere in the region of my chest. Like all intensive care doctors, we immediately leap to the worst possible conclusion. Tension headaches turn into brain tumours, mild coughs turn into raging pneumonias. Nightmarish worst-case scenarios, that's me.
So rather than hope for something reasonably mild like a gastric reflux, I promptly clutched a handful of aspirin thinking I was dying from an acute myocardial infarction. Otherwise known as a massive heart attack. The more I thought about it, the more I started to feel an ominous tingle running down my left arm. Even thinking that it might be a heart attack was enough to make me nauseous. Not sure which part of it was really happening and which part was plain psychosomatic - an unfortunate by-product of my wildly imaginative brain.
Thought of inserting a branula to run some reperfusion therapy but thought better of it. Especially since once I reached my workplace, all the results turned out to be within normal range. Even my ECGs looked fine.
Yes, it was a wild panic. But of course it pushed me onto the treadmill for starters. Blergh.
Still no endorphin rush though.