Thursday, December 22, 2011

The thing about Pain

Pain is a funny thing, well not in the amusing way at least.  But after a particularly crushing WOD last night where I was in a lot of pain I started pondering the essence of pain.
There are many facets to pain in our lives, be it physical, emotional or mental.  Our muscles can be screaming during a workout, pleading with you to just stop.  You keep going because you know that once you stop the pain will ease and be replaced by the feeling of satisfaction that is attained from achieving goals.
Last night with every thruster I was convinced my arms would not push the dumbbells up on the next occasion, yet every time I rose from the squat my arms lifted skyward.  Yes I had lots of breaks to eace the pain, but it never completely went away.  It never disappeared until a few moments after that workout was over.  But it did disappear.
Today I feel a different pain, resulting from that workout, I feel it each time I move.  It reminds me I earned it through working hard and pushing through.  I know that pain will linger throughout the day in varying intensity but it’s a good pain.  And it too will pass.
Yet for all the pain I felt last night and the nights before, I’ll go back again today because I WANT to feel that pain.  I know that pain represents me pushing beyond my limits and improving myself.  That pain is helping me become stronger, learning & growing as an athlete.  That pain is pushing me forwards.  In some respects I never not want to feel that pain when I step into the box for a workout.  I have come to learn if I’m not feeling that pain then I am not working hard enough.  I am not pushing through my limits to set new ones. 
There have been times in my life where I have suffered great emotional pain, from a deep sense of loss to feeling lost within myself.  At times the pain was so intense I could never see a way that I would ever be free of it again.  It etched itself into the deepest corners of my being and covered me like an enormous thick coat.  At times the pain was so palpable I could not breathe and felt every heartbeat a struggle. 
But moment by moment, second by second the pain gradually eased, losing the intensity of the initial fury behind.  Occasionally it will resurface and once again bind me but each time it passes again and I move forward.  I find an inner strength that I never knew existed, a strength that allows me to keep going one day after the next.  I get a liitle bit stronger each time I feel the pain and come through the otherside.
I am beinginning to realise with every pain there is a lesson and growth.  Even it’s a pain in my big toe after I stub it, the lesson being to watch where I walk.  But in seriousness pain is really a fuel for growth, a physical pain from training is a sign our bodies are adapting, strengthening and growing.  We are increasing our reserves of ‘can do’ and continue to set new limits to be smashed through.
Emotional pain is a fuel to help us move forward with our lives, becoming stronger and more determined to do better and be better.  In some cases it teaches us to be kinder and nicer to not only others but also ourselves.
The thing about pain is that no matter what the pain, how or who inflicted it, it will always pass.  Some remnants may linger but overall you’re left with a stronger version of yourself for fighting through it & coming out the other side. In the midst of the fight some moments can last an eternity, excruciatingly slow. Once you have fought through however the pain eases to reveal a bright new moment, to be captured and celebrated. It’s an endless cycle.  But I now welcome the pain to fuel my desires to become better.


  1. Well that is a lovely post. Had many a pain of late both physical and emotional and I agree they all teach us something.

  2. It is a shame that we do have to go through so much pain sometimes - in order to learn these lessons or to realize that the pain was masking something of such beauty. But, like you said, it often does. The pain of childbirth results in the beauty of a child. The pain of a loss results in an awakening of appreciativness (if that is a word) of the people still around you.

    It takes a strong heart to dig deep and find the beauty that lays beneath the pain. And you are both.

    Strong. And beautiful.

    M xx