Adrenaline is meant to move you...

Newsletter - October 30th, 2024

I've learned more about human performance from Dr. Andrew Huberman in the past 2 years than from any other source of information on the planet... and I include 'books' or 'the internet' as examples of information sources

(Yes, I use the internet to access Huberman Lab, but shhhhhhh you...)

Nevertheless, I stumbled upon this fascinating conversation that Huberman was having about fear, shortly after he finished a lab-study of notorious unstoppable maniac, David Goggins.

As a prominent neuroscientist, I can imagine that it would be fascinating for Dr. Huberman examine the psyche of someone who held the world record for pull ups with 4,031 completed in 17 hours, and who ran more than 60 ultra-marathons... many of which were completed on a knee with no cartilage.

Please keep this information from my wife. The ouchies in my knee get me out of many things that I do not want to do.

Anyhow, in this interview, Dr. Huberman notes that, "our adrenaline response is designed to move us. It's not designed to keep us stationary."

It is, after all, the 'fight or flight' response...

But it's also suprisingly the adrenaline that makes people freeze...

But why, you ask?

Because adrenaline makes people feel like dog crap.

I have read hundreds of emails from regretful dudes after an unfortunate bar conflict, or a schoolyard shoving match, or someone being disrespectful to their girlfriend, and they express a deep remorse about their failure to do anything about it.

They just go home hating themselves for backing down.

I try to make them feel better.

Sometimes, I do succeed.

I remember sitting backwards on a chair in the warm up area before my first professional fight, staring down at my hand-wraps and thinking to myself, "how the hell am I going to fight this guy when my arms feel like jello? JELLO."

Jello isn't tough. Jello isn't fierce. Jello... sucks. It is the absolute rock bottom of junk food.

My brain was rapidly processing the hundreds of possible outcomes that might take place in a few moments... some glorious, some horrifying.

As is always the case on fight day, time crawled towards the inevitable... and suddenly, it was time to warm up.

Now, the moment that I started moving around, I realized that Jello wasn't Jello at all. Jello was lightning! LIGHTNING! LIGHTNINNNNGGGGGG!

I have never felt so fast, or so light in my entire life. The crack of the pads was... crack-like. My strikes flowed like cheap wine at my mom's house. In this moment, despite how horrible I felt, I realized that I was extremely ready to throw down.

I was more ready than I had ever been.

A few minutes later, I TKO'd the guy with a knee to the body and 8 or 9 unreturned hammer-fists to the ol' head. It was pretty cool.

Anyhow, this experience reshaped the way that I felt about adrenaline, and in hindsight, how I felt about every other near-physical conflict I had ever faced.

Each time that I was distracted by the butterflies in my stomach, and the jellowy feeling in my arms... if I had just moved a little bit, I would have realized that jello was lightning... and I actually had electricity flowing through my veins... not the absolute bottom tier of junk food.

Next time you're running into a conflict, if you feel like crap, try bouncing around a little bit. Both you, and your potential opponent, will quickly realize that you are quite ready.

After all, adrenaline is meant to move you. Not make you stand still.

Nevertheless, check out Huberman lab, and this quick interview... it's pretty cool.


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