Late Night Bedroom Experiments

Peter Brauer wrote an email – it becomes this, my first guest post:

Subject: My latest Clinical research at its best

I’ve been asked on numerous occasions whether eye problems can result in general fatigue and lethargy – “If I read till late at night I feel fatigued the next am”. I’ve not been convinced and have always been rather skeptical of any such link.

However, after three very late nights (in fact early mornings) of computer work and reading, I woke this morning with abnormal fatigue and literally had to drag my weary body to work. So after thirty five years of thinking otherwise, I now thought I had irrefutable proof that eye strain could do this to me.

That was until I discovered that having removed my plus-fours before retiring at 1am last night, the little white tablet I had taken for cholesterol was in fact a very similar looking little white tablet for knocking you out for a good night’s sleep! I had taken a Stillnox and not a Prava!

So yes, my eye problem certainly resulted in the extreme fatigue and weary body that my legs could hardly drag into my office this morning. But it wasn’t eyestrain that did it – it was PRESBYOPIA.

So if you feel listless in the morning, forget the dietary advice on what constitutes a good breakfast . . maybe it’s just time for a good eyetest . .

Wisdom followed . .

Another Peter (Muller) wrote: Ja well no fine – the problem I see is having to drag your body to WORK at all at your age . . stop doing that, and the fatigue will go away . .

This Peter (Swanepoel – me) wrote: SOUND advice from Muller, as always. – and thank goodness that other little tablet is blue . . if it was also a little white tablet there could be pandemonium at 1am in this interesting bedroom clinic.

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plus fours golfers and presbyopes use these; Peter Brauer is both; So who knows which ones he was removing in his interesting bedroom clinic . . ? Methinks we should install cameras . .

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I Was Sure It Was Intelligence

Tim Noakes says it’s cowardice!

I have always stopped (way) shy of really pushing my body. My mantra is a firm “No Pain, No Pain”. Intelligence or cowardice? Intelligence, of course, IMNSHO.

But:

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. . . . Noakes tells the central-governor story in a narrative form that’s almost, well … almost readable. I’m not saying the paper is easy-going, certainly not for the faint-of-heart. And I’m sure there are vast parts of it that I don’t understand—it appears to have about 150 references, many of them from the last year or two of research.

Still, the quotes from great athletes are always entertaining. Roger Bannister says: “The great barrier is the mental hurdle.” Former marathon world record holder Derek Clayton says: “The difference between my world record and many world class runners is mental fortitude. I ran believing in mind over matter.”

Apparently Noakes does as well. In the provocative last section of his paper, he writes that the “illusionary” symptoms of fatigue are what separates the marathon winner from the runners-up. The first time I read this section, I couldn’t help but think about the people with illusionary thoughts who are often locked up in mental wards. Of course, Noakes isn’t saying that fast runners are crazy. Only that their thoughts are illusionary in the sense that they “are entirely self-generated by each athlete’s brain and so are unique to each individual.”

Noakes closes by quoting Vince Lombardi, who said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Noakes believes, however, that Lombardi got things backwards. Noakes writes: “My unproven hypothesis is that in the case of a close finish, physiology does not determine who wins. Rather somewhere in the final section of the race, the brains of the second, and lower placed finishers, accept their respective finishing positions and no longer challenge for a higher finish.” The winner’s brain simply doesn’t give in.

In other words, according to Noakes, cowardice produces fatigue.

Sadly, I believe him. My brain explains to me in firm, no-nonsense terms that it is pointless pushing any harder and in fact it’s time to take a short break. And I always obey.

Running is Impossible

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http://www.runnersworld.com/sports-psychology/tim-noakes-fatigue-cowardice-winners-and-losers