I have a shirt that says “pain is weakness leaving the body” and I wear it largely as a joke.
I’ve been involved in a number of sports that have left me in pain at various times and to various degrees over the years. Just today, I got kicked in the head while sparring. I still can’t completely close my jaw.
If I’ve learned anything about the nature of pain it’s that it certainly never made anyone strong. If anything, pain is weakness invading the body.
The funny thing about pain is that it robs you of total body energy. Even though it’s the muscles around my jaw that are sore, I’ve been moving around like an old man all day. I grunt and groan when getting out of the car and I can sense that I’m moving around as if my body were made of delicate porcelain.
Pain does a funny thing to the mind and your energy levels. It’s almost as if there is a total system slow down as energy reserves are being diverted to heal the injured area.
I used to be one of those guys who used to prove how tough they were by how much pain I could put myself through. I would ride my bike barefoot with sharp spiky pedals. I would walk barefoot on scorching hot pavement. I even used oak sticks while taiko drumming because it ground my hands into bloody hamburger.
I thought I was tough at the time, but looking back I know I was just being stupid. None of it made me stronger. Instead it cost me training time and eroded my technique. It was actually making me worse off as an athlete and performer.
Discomfort is fine, but pain is pure poison to your energy levels and thus your success. It gets in between your ears and throws a monkey wrench into your kick ass activities. So I say pain is to be avoided, for the less pain we suffer, the more strength and energy we have.
What say you?