Fight or flee? Neither, actually, old boy.

Imagine this in Andy Rooney’s voice, only with an edge…

Didja ever have one of those days when you were utterly convinced that those experts out there are right, that evolution has not prepared us in any way for modern life — especially of the white-collar variety? A day when you reach the realization that Ron Livingston‘s character did in "Office Space" — that Man was not meant to sit in cubicles (or offices) doing TPS reports?

I mean, our bodies — and particularly our central nervous systems — were just not made for responding to stress by smiling and being being all civilized and diplomatic and constructive and filling out the proper forms. We’re hard-wired to fight or flee, and all the rules nowadays say we can’t do either.

Anyway, while most days I love my job and can honestly say that I wouldn’t trade it for any other (except maybe directing movies, and I don’t think that’s realistic at this point), there are days — and I’m not saying this is one of them, nor am I saying it isn’t — when I wish I were something like a soldier, or a boxer. Days when instead of saying, "Yes, sir, well, I’m sorry you feel that way about that column/editorial/blog item," you want, on an atavistic level, to just go out and take out the objective (or at least blow something up), or kick some butt.

Of course, neither of those options is any more realistic than my chances of directing. The Army wouldn’t take me even when I was young and relatively fit. As for boxing — well, I took up kickboxing several years ago, when I was 47, and in my very first (and last) sparring match, my opponent broke four of my ribs in the first round. I still went the full three rounds, even after he dropped me to one knee by hitting me again in the very spot where my ribs were broken. That one hurt. (I am proud of having gone the distance, even though it was only three rounds. Conversely, my wife sees it as final proof, as though she needed any more, that I am an idiot. Which isn’t my fault, since, speaking of evolution, my brain still hasn’t fully developed.) Basically, this guy didn’t get the idea of sparring; he seemed to think it was a real fight. Combine that with my inability to think defensively (as in, keeping my stupid elbows down), and I was in trouble.

So really, I’m pretty lucky that I do have a weenie job such as editorial page editor. Especially since someone just came in while I was writing this and gave me some good news that made this day a lot better. So I guess I’ll wait until another time to strip off my clothes and go running through the savanna — or the would-be Green Diamond project — looking to kill a wildebeest with a rock. For now, blogging is about as close as I’ll get to that.

5 thoughts on “Fight or flee? Neither, actually, old boy.

  1. jennysmith

    Height and Yoga Go Together
    There are many forms of exercise that can help in the development of bones, hence the increase in height that a short person so aspires. Stretching techniques and swimming can aid in the advancement to gain even a few inches. But there is also another form of exercise that will not only increase height, but makes a person be happy and content. And this is none other than yoga.
    Yoga exercises also employ stretching techniques, which are coupled with the right state of mind and meditation. The aim of yoga is to properly distribute the force of energy to various parts of the body, which in turn relaxes the whole body. Yoga further improves posture, which is a crucial factor for people wanting to get a few inches taller. People who are stooped can turn to yoga to slowly and smoothly ease the back problem, correcting it in the process. .
    One yoga technique that is said to have a great effect for height is the Surya Namaskara, which literally means a “greeting offered to the Sun”. It is important to remember that yoga exercises must be performed on even surface, such as floor and grass. You can also do exercises on even sand. The breathing instruction and the posture required must be strictly followed.
    Apart from yoga, a person aiming to grow taller should also maintain a healthy lifestyle. This means he must eat right, avoid vices, exercise routinely, have a regular dose of Growth Flex V Pro System and have enough sleep. A person who is under a lot of pressure has lesser chances of growing taller than those who are not. Go to .

  2. Bryan Caskey

    “Days when instead of saying, ‘Yes, sir, well, I’m sorry you feel that way about that column/editorial/blog item,’ you want, on an atavistic level, to just go out and take out the objective (or at least blow something up), or kick some butt.”

    Yeah, I have those days – particularly after a tough day of litigation. What inspired you to start kickboxing? That’s just not a garden-variety type of activity.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I just ran across this 2014 reply to a 2005 post, and it strikes me that this would be a good time to answer it.

      My son Andy — whom you’ve met — took up the sport of grappling about 15 or 16 years ago. I was interested to learn more about that because I had been a wrestler in high school (not exactly the same sport, but there’s overlap.) The dojo where he did this also offered kickboxing classes, and I signed up. I only went to two or three classes when the sparring incident happened, and I never went back. This was in 2001. The building where that dojo was later became Easpoint Academy Mandarin-immersion charter school, where one of my grandchildren is a pupil.

      But I didn’t give up kickboxing for exercise, as opposed to fighting. Sometime after I recovered from the broken ribs (this was still back when a lot of people worked at the newspaper, including HR people who were looking for good programs to make employees healthier, wealthier, wiser, etc.), we were offered cardio-kickboxing classes at the newspaper.

      These were very well-run, and a great form of exercise. About half the class would be repeating in unison various kicks and punches just poking at the air, and the second half would be bag work, which was the good part — you got to HIT something.

      Later, after those classes at the paper ended, I signed up to continue at the dojo that ran them — LifeForce Karate and Self-Defense, on Garners Ferry Road. These are good folks, and I highly recommend them. They don’t let people get broken bones sparring…

      1. Bryan Caskey

        I had one of those “tough days” yesterday. Suffice it to say I was very frustrated because I honestly thought the Judge was wrong on a point of law, and I couldn’t convince him that he was wrong. It ultimately didn’t affect the outcome of the case (it just delayed it) but I was very frustrated that I couldn’t persuade the Court on what I thought was clear.

        I was so frustrated that when I got into my car, I slammed the door as hard as I could, because of that “Cave-Man” part of the brain that vents frustration-relief through physical action.

        I do a Cross-Fit group work out now (barbells and such) a few times a week, and that’s great for stress relief. I even did a little write up for the SC Bar about it, but my favorite stress relief is splitting wood by hand with my 12 lb. maul. That’s probably why ol’ Honest Abe was such a cool customer.


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