Setting Up for Talk Therapy - Caucasian - CycleBlaze

June 28, 2024

Setting Up for Talk Therapy

The epic trip was supposed to kick off in Tokyo but it sort of began earlier.

The last filler assembly ended and with that the epic adventure began.  We all walked out of the auditorium and then past the fitness center on the 6th floor of the school.  It was a very familiar walk but those initial footsteps were already creeping towards the thrill of the unknown.  I made my way back to the new office to chill for a bit, sort out some papers, drink some expired protein powder, talk to my colleagues, and then bounce.

It was of course raining as it had been for now 10 days in a row.  While we always get hit with the rainy season at the end of June, this year had been particularly vicious.

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The ongoing nasty weather made it all the more imperative to get out of here.  First order of business was to try and fix the commuter bike.  Unfortunately the mechanic had closed up shop all day which didn't surprise me.

When it rains all day and every day for so long, at some point you just don't care and accept the fact that every bike ride will be a soaker.  If they were going to drag our asses to work for an extra week of pointless meetings in this weather despite students already done their final exams and the grades submitted, then I would try and find reasons for the bike rides.  One such reason was to fix up my commuter and then store it at school in a safe place.  Fixing would have to wait, at least now I could store it.  Every year at this time it's tempting to just park it underground at my compound but I found out this leads to mould and generally destroys bikes in this season.  So an outside and airy yet covered storage site with the bike locked to an obstacle seemed like the best choice.

The commuter all stored for the holidays
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Next up, the feet of adventure sauntered to the doctors office.  He had been helping me out for years trying to rebuild testosterone levels.  This was all a combination of surgery, intense HIIT classes, a higher protein diet, and any attempts to reduce stress and have better sleep quality.  The last two had been failing miserably.  You know that living in Shanghai is a problem when a visit to Tokyo or Bangkok, hell even Hong Kong is an oasis of quietude in comparison.  The reality is that Shanghai is so noisy and traffic congested that it will never improve in a million years.

So the doctor fully understood all this and said come on over, let's talk about the blood test.  He said the good news is the testosterone did increase markedly but the body also produced high levels of estrogen and progesterone as a way to compensate.  While this isn't necessarily bad, he said if untreated the condition could revert back to where I was before with low male hormone levels.  This would render our effort since the lockdown all for nothing.  For that he prescribed female hormone suppressant and I was off to the races.

Last week I had been talking to a colleague about this exact topic and we agreed that the stress at work is all manufactured and serves no real purpose.  Take these final exams for example.  We know the students will pass and get a decent grade so the test is just confirmation of their abilities.  But due to ridiculous school rules and administration that chooses to micromanage the exams, we have no choice but to be subject to this manufactured stress. The body has no way of knowing what is a real threat and what is not.  Sure it's all mental as my doctor said but the evolutionary nature of the body is that our ancestors faced real threats.  Biologically we don't know the difference.  We can take a deep breath and relax as I practice daily, but try telling that to these stiffs who go around intentionally creating pressure cooker situations.  Like for example that jackass who schedules me to coordinate 5 rooms at once with multiple proctors and then criticizes me for making mistakes while at the same time doing nothing to help.

So I told my colleague all about this shit.  We all agree that health is number one.  What good is making money if you can't enjoy it with strong male health?  I told him that a visit to my doctor would be a very good idea and sold him on it.  You just never know how stress will affect your manhood. Hint:  it's not great!

It's not every day you get coached by a global athlete from the head team, in this case April Kong from Singapore
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Continuing doctors orders to do more HIIT classes. It certainly helps when you have some mighty fine fit women in there
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Now you can see long term why working in a pressure cooker and/or toxic work environment is terrible for the health and especially for my pre retirement plans.  When you work in a company that hires all young men and no women, rotates them out every 2-3 years, and takes away key classes from the most senior staff to give to newbies then the messaging is pretty clear:  we don't want you.  It's an assembly line.

That's why I'm making plans to leave and why it's a no brainer.  In general the same could be said for being an expat for so long in China.  It's mixed messaging to the extreme.  They say they want foreign investment but the reality is that foreigners aren't welcome in China.  The longer you stay then the more you realize it.

So having talked to my doctor I then went about finalizing all my packing for the trip.  This went on far longer than expected and was now pushing multiple afternoons in a row.  During the cleanup I discovered some unused coupons from winning an earlier fitness competition.  One of those was a free floatation tank experience that you would normally pay $100 for.  It would expire at the end of the month so I just had to use it before flying out.

I took my Black Mistress out in the rain and to the floatation location and wow, that did not disappoint.  You basically get naked, shower first, climb into the tank and surrender into the water as she explained during the introduction.

Not sure what we're getting into here
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It is a full on Epson salt bath and when the lid closes you are floating on the water in complete darkness with no sound.  It is scary at first because you go into a total zero stimulation environment and you are left alone floating with your thoughts for an hour.  It is in this moment that tests your true mental strength.  Most people would freak out as they realize the chaotic nature of their minds and the self-induced trauma that comes from living in a society that drives you to this manufactured pressure for no fucking reason whatsoever.

The float is a way to force you to slow down.  It is even better than a massage.  It was no surprise that I had to deal with mental chaos at first but I quickly got into the float and started processing the jumble of thoughts one by one.  There were no immediate takeaways except that I did get a subconscious thought which surfaced later and that was to sell my Starbucks stock position and make $2000.  I told this to the reception and she thought it was hilarious.  But then she said this is exactly why top level executives and business people will book these floatation sessions.  They do it to slow down and get creative ideas.

Most people forget, but I remember
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On the way back home I just happened to pass by the house that contained an epicenter of covid cases and caused the authorities to erect fences around it, thus treating us all like animals.  While the lockdown is at least two years old, I will never forget it simply  because it showed what the government is CAPABLE of.  Make no mistake there is every reason to believe they could do something like that again if the conditions set themselves up for it.  Another reason why I can't sleep in my compound.

Next door where the father climbed up to the roof and then killed himself. I honestly can't blame him
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Float therapy over, it was time to finish the packing.  This went a lot more smoothly and calmly and the float was already working its magic.   Last thing to do was fold up the bike the night before and store it somewhere easy for my early flight out the next day.  The folding operation was a bit of a nightmare and all done in the dark of night with this never ending relentless rain.  It took well over half an hour to try and fit the Black Mistress in there but I was glad to have completed the task then and not the next day.

The series of events over the past several weeks got me to realize the importance of talk therapy and how this will form a central theme of this trip.  While a month long retreat in Chiang Mai was unfortunately out of the question, I booked a week's worth of sessions with the guy I saw last year in Bangkok.  He was instrumental then and surely will be this trip also. 

Besides that, there have been tons of other people I have talked to about all manner of events described in this entry and more.  Creative ideas are already being generated.  Make no mistake this really is going to be the trip of a lifetime.

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