I caught myself sitting on my couch for a minute watching Oprah as she stood on her stage trying to enlighten everyone that “all pain is the same.”
I wondered for a moment if this was true. I didn’t really know what to think about that at the time. I mean how could it all be the same if we were all so different? But, one thing I know is true is that we all experience it.
We should be clear that pain is a sensation to which we have applied the label of “unpleasant.” One person’s pain is another person’s pleasure, so we can start this work with a clear understanding of the fact that the sensation is very personal to each of us. Even one person, one day, will label some sensation as unpleasant, but another day call it fun.
I wanted to look at that from an athletes point of view. Athletes are frequently exposed to unpleasant sensory experiences during daily physical efforts. These high physical and psychological resistances must be overcome during competitions or very exhausting activities. So they are forced to develop efficient pain-coping skills because of their systematic exposure to brief periods of intense pain.
But, it should get us thinking could they have ever made it to that medal stand without pain?
If they had trained “hurt free” for decades, would they have ever had the opportunity to compete for gold? How many times did those gymnasts fall from the uneven bars? How many years did those swimmers’ arms’ ache after nine hours of training in the pool? How many times have these athletes been treated for torn ligaments, strained muscles, or even broken bones? And, how many times has it hurt SO bad that they questioned whether or not they should continue?
In a society that idolizes sport, athletes are under tremendous amounts of pressure to perform and live up to high expectations. Going beyond the playing field, it is evident that athletes are not immune to struggles outside of their sport but they may have learned to deal with it differently.
No pain, no gain is the rule when it comes to gaining happiness from increasing our competence at something. We can not avoid pain. Pain is part of the learning process of life and not all pain is bad. Will you let pain teach you something?
Live and Learn. We all Do.
Thanks for reading. Please pass this on to someone who means something to you.