Thursday, October 28, 2010

How To Push Past The Pain

The article (linked below) in the NY Times focuses on elite athletes. It goes into depth about the physical (muscle) pain that must be endured during training and competition in order to succeed in competitive sports. The most significant point in the article is that these elite athletes are not exempt from the excruciating pain of hard physical training: they simply learn to accept this feeling. They understand that training under grueling conditions is just a step forward in the path to success. Pain is no longer an indication to rest, rather it is a feeling that actually triggers athletes to work harder.

The act of working harder when feeling pain draws the line between most people who see results and most who don’t. This “pain” also refers to emotional discomfort as well as the muscular toll of either a strict training or dieting regimen. It’s extremely difficult to be challenged yet still maintain enough discipline to overcome what’s in the way.

If you want to reach a goal or be in shape it helps to accept that it is going to be really hard! Allowing yourself to endure pain (whether it be mental or physical) will prevent that first instinct to give up when something becomes difficult. If you really think about goals, isn’t the whole point of it to challenge yourself? When someone loses 100lbs or runs their first marathon, are they going to say it was easy? I doubt it! And that’s ok. It separates the strong from the weak. It explains why the percentage of marathon runners and successful dieters in the world are the minority. But that doesn’t mean that who ever is in the “majority” is stuck there.

So, the next time you decide to embark on a new challenge, ask yourself- “Are you ready for this? Are you ready to do something that is going to be hard, yet still keep on pushing?”

Perhaps understanding what a challenge consist of is will help prepare you.

Fantastic quote from the article

“Can you train yourself to run, cycle, swim or do another sport at the edge of your body’s limits, or is that something that a few are born with, part of what makes them elites?

Sports doctors who have looked into the question say that, at the very least, most people could do a lot better if they knew what it took to do their best.”

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