The Path to Pain Free…

… is an illusion. Many of us are fooled these days by this.

For the past 4 weeks I’ve dealt with an impacted wisdom tooth. Lots of pain, infection, fever, surgery and pain meds.

Oh yeah, pain meds. The industry of dishing these suckers out talks about “safety” of not over prescribing but, everyone has an extra couple of pills left over. Doctors don’t want to be the ones to make you “feel” more pain after they’ve already “hurt” you.

This continues to business, education and in sport. Coaches now enable athletes to avoid the necessary hard work to avoid suffering. Sometimes that hard work is placing athletes in a position of over-reaching whether its a hard workout (physical) or lack of constant validation (psychological).

We avoid suffering or making others suffer because it hurts us so we find the easy way out…we do what everyone else is doing because it makes us feel comfortable; average. If you follow the herd, you won’t stand out and therefore can’t be blamed or ridiculed.

However, the “American Dream”, in my opinion, is to inflict self pain, whether psychological or physical, to reach the ultimate vision of who you want to be.

To be successful certainly doesn’t happen without pain. And, as Viktor Frankl talks about in Man’s Search for Meaning, there is meaning in suffering.

Now, the other end is suffering unnecessarily or without a plan or objective (SEE: Crossfit), where you gloat and bathe in the suffering with no end goal in sight. There’s no systematic development. Yes there is suffering and improvement physically and psychologically but, it’s short term.

[Step onto my SOAP BOX]

I personally have seen people progress for two years tops before you plateau.  It’s usually a loss of motivation prior to that. It’s called overtraining. That is when the CNS is overstimulate. You’d be lucky to loose motivation before you got sick or injured, which are other symptoms of overtraining.

Trust me, I’ve put some of athletes in this position over the years and I’ve also have given athletes too much leeway to do it to themselves. So no one is perfect and THERE are some great concepts in Crossfit, just a bit misguided. Short to Long is ok but, you have to go long. The other end of the spectrum is Endurance athletes who are afraid of power and speed.

[Step off of SOAP BOX]

Anyways, just like taking a Vicodin or Percocet…following trends is a temporary “feel” good to mask the pain of the suffering needed for long-term health and success.


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