The Cost of Athletic Pursuits

I have been doing a bit of reflecting lately.  (Bare with my rambling here) Mainly the reflection comes because I have had a long couple of months and havent had near the training days that I normally have, and because of that my body and mind have deteriorated a bit.  Combine that with Whitney’s dominate performance at OC Throwdown and Lance Armstrongs admission of doping, and what came to mind is simple:  Achievement in sport requires suffering.  Thats it, plain and simple.  You want to be better?  Then its going to hurt.  On the darker side, Lance and doping are expressions of loosing sight of what achievement means.  Sure he suffered in training and racing, but he was unwilling to accept the total package of suffering…the part where you might not win all the time.  Being at your best costs a lot.  You pay in pain, in time away from your loved ones, and you pay when you come up short.  That price is all paid back in victory.  Most of us wont race in the Tour De France, and might not compete in any organized event.  But we all know when we loose, and we all can win in very personal ways.  You pay the price when your forearms are screaming on the pullup bar, you pay the price when you come to the gym instead of going home early, and you pay the price when you dont get the result you were hoping for when you miss on a new PR attempt. That is cost, and in a way, that is suffering.  BUT, you get it all back when you finally crack a 3 min Fran, or when you walk down the beach feeling confident about your body, or when you sleep well at night knowing that you have invested in your long term health. Or when you throwdown with the best women in the world and come out holding your own and making everyone at your gym proud of you (Whit!).  So what it boils down to is that victory is the sum of suffering.  You have to spend that extra time, endure the extra pain, lace up the shoes when its cold and snowing, push the cookie tray back, and know that defeat might come but that you are not going to accept it…you are going to learn from it.  So next time you step in front of the barbell for one of you least favorite workouts:  lay it all out, embrace the suffering, pay the cost and know that it is leading you to your goal.

2 Responses

  1. Kim B says:

    That was awesome…I really needed that this morning!

  2. matt says:

    It took me a long time to see failure as a training tool. It’s easy to get pissed off and discouraged. Coming up short is a hard pill to swallow. But within failure lies the keys to future success. Great post. “Victory is the sum of suffering” is my new mantra.

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