Slice of Chaotic Life

The daily life of a celibate middle-aged man.

Heart rate gears

Posted by Itlandm on June 29, 2014

In today’s exciting (physical) heart adventures: Took a walk and as usual lately, my pulse was about 15 beats lower than it used to be. So I decided to give it a boost by walking up the stairs to Uranienborg, the vantage point atop a cliff in the middle of town. The climb is about 60 meters up, with stairs and plenty of platforms, and I walked slowly. By my calculations a pulse of 120 would be safe – 135 is what I used to get to without getting winded. I may have miscalculated, because at 117 it started to climb on its own, even if I stopped and started walking slowly downward again. My pulse continued up to 175 and stuck there a little while.

I am at home now (at 18:00), and heart rate is close to 90 while sitting, a bit of a change from just above 50 the last few days. It certainly justifies my claim that my heart has only two gears: Too Slow, and Too Fast.

I m feeling weak and drained, as if I have been working hard and long. But my heartbeat is quite regular, as far as I can sense, and I can to some degree influence it by meditation-like mind states. For the time being, I am letting it run its course. Yesterday after walking till my legs were tired, my heart returned to resting rate as soon as my skinny butt hit the chair. At least the way it is now, there should be plenty of blood flowing through my body, which my muscles and other tissues can use to recharge.

Edit to add: At 23 (11 in the night) my heart rate is below 60 again. It seems to have slowed down most quickly at first and then more and more gradually. Well, that is to be expected. It is as if my heart rate broke through some barrier that kept it down, and then gradually returned.

I wonder if the “long tail” of the event was partly because the episode still had some power to scare me. I know my heart rate is high for several hours after a credible threat to my health, like the time that guy threatened to break my kneecaps. Mind and body are not really separate, at least not while we are alive. That is also why I could calm my heart once it came within a range where I recognize the feeling of its speed. I could not do that when it was racing full speed, and not during the fairly long episode of random flapping on the 11th. I actually tried repeatedly to control my body using the normal techniques, but could not get a grasp of it.

If there was a safe environment for me to trigger the faster ranges of heart level, I might become able to yoke them to my mind and control them. But as it is now, once the heart range passes beyond my level of normal experience, it goes off on its own, like a half-tame bird fleeing its cage and not returning until it feels like it.

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