Tag Archives: hulk

Anger Management? No thanks, I’d rather just break stuff.

12 May

I am predisposed to fits of rage. I’m not talking about the average, run of the mill temper tantrum, but instead an all out Bruce Banner-esque forray of rampant and unadulterated destruction. The Hulk and I have a few things in common. Anyone remember the Blue Chevy Blazer that I used to tool around in? The one with the huge dent in the driver side door? The story I told involved a deer running into the side of the truck, truth is… the only animal hide that came in contact with it was from the leather of my steel toe boots!

I kicked in the side of my truck, like a fool, and I can’t even recall why. I’m sure that pain was involved. That is typically the catalyst behind the unleashing of my inner green, rage-monster. Currently I have been 13 days without incident. The most recent ended with me smashing a salt treated 2×6 with a shovel until it broke into…. the 2×6, not the shovel ( good shovel!) I was digging grass out of my raised bed garden beds when I clumsily yet quite forcefully brought the business end of the before mentioned round-point shovel down directly on the top of one of my toes.

Bam. Flame on.

Of course, my four-year old son watched the entire event unfold from the front seat of my truck a mere ten feet away.

“…Dad, you go crazy?”

Yeah Bud.

” And… and…. you smash dat ting?”

Yup.

This was his line of questioning for the next hour. He was completely fascinated with this previously unseen side of me. His Dad is crazy and smashes things. That’s so COOL!

(The direction this blog post now takes is precisely why I will never win any sort of “Parent of the Year” award (but my kids still think I’m awesome). This event got me thinking. Not about staying calm, setting a better example or any of that rubbish, but about the mechanism in the human psyche that is responsible for me hulking out. Certainly this is a consequence of the fight or flight response or some form of primitive survival instinct lurking beneath thousands of years of domestication. The brain says, ” Hey, I’m being attacked by a shovel. Quick, should I run away or fight back?” I can’t imagine my son’s disappointment if I had dropped the shovel and high-tailed it….

The body perceives a harmful event, attack or threat that sends the adrenal system into hyperdrive. Sort of like autopilot, your unconscious mind takes over and instinct guides you because quite frankly, you may not be able to reason quickly enough to save your own life. This same mechanism is how a 130lbs woman can lift a vehicle to save a loved one pinned beneath… or how a man can smash a salt treated 2×6 in half with a shovel. In both cases, the conscious mind wasn’t available to tell the individual “No, you can’t do this. It isn’t possible.” Acute stress response was activated and the body went to work.

What else might we be capable of if we didn’t have a mind to tell us we can’t? Physically? Emotionally? Professionally?

The Ruby Throated Hummingbird, as tiny and delicate as it is, migrates thousands of miles to Southern Mexico every single year, because no one ever told them that they couldn’t.

We have been domesticated. Essentially we are…. Zoo Humans…. Civilization has tricked us into thinking we are weak and inferior. Barefeet need shoes, we’ll die without climate control and cell phones, children must be followed with a 5 gallon pump sprayer of Purell hand sanitizer lest they catch a cold! We’ve got a pill for everything. Heck we’ll invent something if that’s what it takes to get you to buy a pill! As if we are completely incapable of surviving without the aid of pharmaceuticals.

Armed solely with his wit and courage, mankind conquered the wild… only to succumb to the treachery of Restless Leg Syndrome!

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