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Enough of Being a Good Guy

Monday, July 13, 2015

By Paul Willgoss

I’ve written before of how personality types have been mapped to the superheroes of both DC and Marvel Universes—but what about the dark side? Who are our personality-matched supervillains?

Why are supervillains important? And our matched personalities more so?

Because if superheroes are the best of us—ideals that we can aspire to—then supervillains are the warning, if not from history, then from the pages of the comics and graphic novels.

A good villain is understandable, their motives appeal to us, and we can understand their journey to the dark side.

Me? I’m Lex Luthor—a character whose main beef with Superman is that the overgrown boy scout doesn’t have to work for his ability to outrun a bullet, jump tall buildings, etc., etc. And I can see the connection. I have greatest respect for those who are faster, stronger, and quicker than me but I have a lot more admiration if those people have to work for it. I’d quite like to be a multibillionaire, I could live with being bald, and some say the megalomania would come naturally to me.

So, what’s this got to do with CHD? To manage our conditions we need to be able to tap into all of our drivers, positive and negative—but we need to be aware of the downside of those drivers, what happens when we draw on them too much.

The Lux Luthor thing is the competitive spirit, that drive that gets me out of bed before 6 a.m. most mornings to run, go to the gym or get to work early so I can leave early to go climbing (or run, or go to the gym). Unfettered it’s a huge negative—I can push myself too hard to try and get ahead of the next person, to try and beat an arbitrary target. And I pay the price. If I’ve pushed myself, I hurt, and I go slower next time.

That awareness helps, and only helps. There will always be days where my inner Lex wins and I push myself that little bit too much. Sometimes that is a good thing, as its stretches my envelope and with suitable recovery makes me stronger—only if it’s a controlled release of my inner Lex, though.

As I start training for my next marathon I’m going to need all of the advantages I can get—26.2 miles is a long way however many times you’ve done it—and whatever your marathon is, it might just help.

So, go find your inner supervillain, and use your dark side to help control what you do.

Right, I’m off to become President of the U.S.A., make a battle suit and squirrel away my supply of kryptonite…

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The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

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