Stress gets bad rapIn the summer, prior to my senior year in college, I drove a tandem gravel truck over country roads in MonDak, that unofficial state between the mountains of mid Montana and the flatlands farmed by those sodbusters in eastern North Dakota.
By: Kevin Holten, The Dickinson Press
In the summer, prior to my senior year in college, I drove a tandem gravel truck over country roads in MonDak, that unofficial state between the mountains of mid Montana and the flatlands farmed by those sodbusters in eastern North Dakota.
On one occasion, near White Earth, I was parked on a narrow rise as a front end loader filled up my truck box with gravel. Once filled, I backed off the rise and was descending rapidly, in reverse, down the hill when I noticed a failure in one key piece of equipment, the brakes.
In the midst of my rapidly developing peril, it took but a second for death to jump on my truck’s running board and rap on the door, teasing and taunting me and giddy with pleasure as he savored my dilemma and his opportunity to welcome me to his world while dust billowed and hillsides flew by like clouds past a just-launched Saturn rocket.
Wide-eyed and greasy palmed, I was convinced of my demise, until stress came to the rescue. He fueled my heart, raised my blood pressure, sharpened my senses, increased my blood glucose level, invigorated me, slapped me on the back and helped me to corral that wild runaway truck as I made a large horseshoe turn on “two wheels” in a pasture and saved myself from death’s clawing grasp.
Outside, laughing hysterically was a friend of mine who enjoyed the drama way too much, commenting over and over about the expression on my face, the highlight of which, to him, was my bug eyes. Had I to do it over again I’d have attempted to back over him, which at that speed, would have converted him to just another cow pie amongst many sprinkled over the pastureland upon which we drove.
I also quickly realized, post event, that stress had overfilled my adrenalin tank by at least half resulting in shaky legs, a pronounced stutter and the need to find a restroom in a timely manner. But had stress not prompted my nearly inhuman fighter-pilot reactions, I’d be busing tables and mowing lawns for death at his Malibu mansion.
Thus we need to cut stress some slack along with his cousin salt and nephew butter, because they’re not the marauding Huns that doctors and tree-hugging health nuts make them out to be. For example, did you know that short periods of stress mobilize all major types of immune cells to potential infection sites around the body, which is also advantageous for fighting off other diseases? Without stress you’d be just another Fruit Loops eating couch potato with flabby arms wearing sweat pants and a sleeveless T-shirt, unable to read, write, or speed around on your four-wheeler. So be nice to stress, because he’s not nearly as obnoxious as his uncle, distress.
And with regard to his cousin salt; did you know that he actually helps to preserve blood cells and blood vessels? And did you also know that butter promotes thyroid and adrenal health, treats fungal infections and candida, helps with cholesterol metabolism, protects against weakening arteries, has strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties, contains a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster, helps with the absorption of calcium, protects against tooth decay, is your only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints, (which also prevents hardening of the arteries and cataracts) helps your body absorb minerals, promotes fertility in women, and is a source of quick energy. Plus the cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children’s brain and nervous system development and protects against gastrointestinal infections in the very young or the elderly. Makes you want to eat a pound during re-runs of “Green Acres,” doesn’t it?
So be careful who you choose to be your friend, because if you choose a margarine containing trans-fats over butter, you might want to move next door to a cardiologist. And if you’re planning to eliminate all stress from your life, be pre-warned that you’ll also be cutting out a career, golf, football, hunting, dating, shopping, marriage and definitely polka and pinochle, which could get a little boring.
— Holten is the Dickinson State University Foundation’s communications director.