Preventing the Bonk In Life

Preventing the Bonk in Life
By B. Imei Hsu, BSN-RN, MAC-LMHC, Artist

A professional trainer described a recent race involving a young athlete who ran out of steam just before the finish line. Slated to win, her body went from flight to a sudden near stand-still, while her competitors sprinted past her. Trainers and athletes call this response a bonk, when the athlete experiences a depletion of muscle glycogen or a brain depletion of blood glucose. This usually happens when the athlete either did not eat properly before the race, or in the case of an endurance race, the athlete did not replace the necessary protein-carbohydrate ratio needed to replenish glycogen stores. In this case, the young girl simply stopped running because there was no more “giddy yup” left in her leg muscles. As I’ve been reading about the kind of training and nutrition I will need to comfortably run my first 10K race and begin training for my first half-marathon, I’ve noticed similarities between a mild physical bonk I experienced after running more than 10K, and life experiences and challenges that can set you up for what I’m calling a life bonk. Here are a few ways to look at a bonk and how you may prevent a life bonk.

Watch this video to see runner Jonathan Raymond hitting the bonk just 100 meters from the finish line in the 2009 Canberra Marathon

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Relationship 2.0

Relationship 2.0
by Imei Hsu, BSN-RN, MAC-LMHC, Artist

It’s July, and yet summer weather has not quite made a committed appearance in Seattle. My Twitter feed and Facebook updates are full of potshots and comments about the sun’s absence from the Pacific Northwest during a time when the rest of the country is experiencing a heat wave. Still, summer is the time when people think about rest and relaxation, summer vacations,  family time, travel, and — of course! — summer love and romance. Relationships are what make our lives feel full and rich, and in spite of our efforts to be busy and active, the absence of meaningful relationships and connected sex makes those efforts feel lonely and empty.  In honor of summer and relationships, this short blog post includes a few items to chew on about fanning the flames of relationship, improving your love life, and getting it on in bed: a Relationship 2.0 guide for my readers.

RELATIONSHIP 2.0: Modern Love

Why call it Relationship 2.0? Aren’t good old fashioned relationship skills and romance cutting it anymore? Relationship 2.0 is what I’m calling the addition of an undeniable feature of the modern landscape of relationships: the Digital World. We already know that technology affects the way we relate to one another. For all the devices we have, access to the Internet, and demand to use the technology to connect more often, we share more data but communicate meaningfully far less. While the world obsesses over the latest viral video about Henri the French cat going to the vet, the amount of face-to-face conversation decreases. If we are to experience the benefits of the digital age on communication, we must understand what is gained and what is lost. Continue reading “Relationship 2.0”

Digital Distress In An Age With Less Privacy

Digital Distress In An Age With Less Privacy
by imei Hsu, RN, LMHC, Artist

Recently, I took part in a conference in Seattle addressing the topics of privacy, identity, and innovation as it relates to the technology affecting our world through the advances of a digital age. At no other time in history have we been more enpowered by technology in multiple formats and with such mobility. I was stunned and in awe to watch the transit of Venus across the face of the sun on June 5,2012 — all from the convenience of my iPad. Yet partly due to the  speed in which many software applications are delivered, the people in charge of developing and delivering these systems admit that they do not have all the questions answered, nor the legislation in place to protect the best interests of the consumer. While I initially thought I should share a more information-oriented, clinical description of the affect of privacy issues on psychology and psychological services, I kept asking myself, “What is it that people want to know from me about this topic?” The answer: what is it that I think about privacy and how it affects us? What does any of this have to do with psychology or my well-being? The answer: what you don’t know can hurt you. For now, I’m calling this effect Digital Distress.

Here’s a few things you should know from conversations about Privacy.

photo placeholder. Original ink drawing by Imei Hsu.
photo placeholder. Original ink drawing by Imei Hsu.

1. Consumers are concerned about privacy. It’s not that we know nothing about what it means to have our contact information or images of ourselves violated or exploited. It’s that in general, many of us do not know enough about how to protect ourselves — that is, we are not readily and clearly educated about how to keep our personal data under our control. Terms of Use Agreements (TOUA’s) are often written in legal language that is difficult to interpret, we are subscribed into programs we didn’t select, and many of us do not know how to launch “do not track” programs on our most frequently used Internet browsers.

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