Fake Fatigue, Go Home

Picture this. You’ve had a big event planned for weeks and have been extremely excited for it. (I’m talking, Kristin Wiig SNL Surprise Party skit excitement…you know the kind.) So, the night before the event finally arrives and you’re so eager for this thing to just be the greatest ever, you go to bed early. Flash forward to the next morning, and, can we just be candid for a second? You’re killing it. Ten uninterrupted hours of sleep later and you’re basically walking on water, feeling more refreshed than ever. Well, at least until the hour before the event…

Suddenly, you’re hit with a tidal wave of exhaustion. Even worse, you no longer want to show up for this event. After all that! A complete 180. So, what gives?

Though not a sure-fire answer, your Dorsal Vagal Complex (DVC) has likely been activated. Short and sweet, this circuit, explained by the Polyvagal Theory, is part of your autonomic/self-protective nervous system which works to protect you by shutting you down toward immobility. Conversely, your Sympathetic Nervous System moves you toward mobility, fight/flight, as another way to protect you from anything that your system perceives as a threat – whether that threat is actual, or imagined.

Now, if the idea of your system shutting down versus charging up to combat a stressful event (keeping in mind that stress can relate to negative as well as positive emotions), consider how an animal in the wild might hide in the bushes and play dead to escape a predator, instead of running away or fighting. And, if you’ve ever experienced a “fake” fatigue/mind-body shutdown such as this, rather than beat yourself up – consider how cool it is that your system shifted into this state in an effort to protect you.

If this concept is completely new to you, incredible! Did you know that the Breath & Exposure program here at DEUCE utilizes breath, ice, and heat practices to help you better regulate your autonomic nervous system? Regardless of what state you’re in, know this: there are always things you can do to steer your system in another direction. Here’s the deal, though: the way out is through behavior, not thoughts.

Perhaps you can relate to this quote from Laird Hamilton: “I never feel more tired than when I don’t do.”

As always, keep going!

2/9/21 WOD


[Meet at Anderson Park]


[Meet at Pan Pacific Park]


Tall Clean

Hang Clean


Then, complete 4 rounds for time of:
5 Front Squats (155/105)
10 Lateral Burpees Over-the-Bar

Finisher: 100 Banded Hamstring Curl