A friend of mine once said, 'running is like walking, only faster.' If only it were that easy.
Running is just tough. It is one of the toughest things you can do. Every foot strike is a knockout blow generating 3-5 times your bodyweight in impact force.
You've got Mike Tyson sticking you with a haymaker every time your foot hits the ground which happens about 150-180 times per minute of running.
There are things you can do to make it a bit easier, but the act of running simply is traumatic at times. Boxers strap on gloves, runners strap on shoes with thick, cushioned midsoles. Either way, you still feel the impact. You still feel the pain.
Discomfort and pain is part of the deal. Fortunately, I never (until now) put it to my runners this bluntly. No one would sign up for my programs if I did. Maybe they won't now.
To be a runner you have to get to a point where you embrace the discomfort and pain...or at least reconcile yourself to the reality of it. As crazy as it may sound, this is a good thing.
It is a good thing because some of the most transcendent and life affirming moments one can experience in running involve enduring, overcoming, and conquering pain.
To fight through fatigue, discomfort, and pain is in many respects what running is all about. It is also what succeeding in life is not infrequently about.
Life is about persevering despite loss, despite fatigue, despite despair, and despite fear of the unknown.
Life is also about those all too transitory, all too ephemeral moments of bliss, the personal bests, the medals, and the glory.
Sadly, you can't have the bliss without the pain. You can try avoiding it, you can try numbing it, you can try muffling it, but it is still there. Eventually, you must overcome it.
The thing about developing a taste (or tolerance) for pain is it makes it easier to manage the next time you come face to face with it which inevitably will happen. It is not a question of if, but when.
So, I run because it makes me tougher. It makes me more resistant to pain. I run because pain is an acquired taste.
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