|This would be Sylvester, in case you didn't have the pleasure of watching Looney Tunes as a kid (or adult).|
Yet I will certainly admit to saying things like "I really suffered that last 10K of the race" or "those intervals on the trainer this morning really made me suffer!" And I don't want to minimize the type of pain we all feel when we push our bodies to the brink. So I think what we should do is categorize suffering into two groups - (Type 1) the kind we are forced to endure and (Type 2) the kind we willingly submit ourselves to.
This morning Oscar and I went on a run. It was early and dark and very cold and windy. It consisted of a warmup, a 30 minute "tempo" portion in which we aimed for a specific average pace, and then a cooldown. Because a picture is worth a 1000 words:
|Click on the picture to make it bigger so you can read my explanations.|
So what is the moral of this story? Perhaps to pick a better course for my tempo run next time! :) But really, what I want to say is this: I think we are really lucky to have the opportunity to struggle and do some Type 2 suffering in our endeavours to swim/bike/run faster. I chose this route on purpose this morning because I wanted to make myself "suffer" and struggle up that last hill (and trust me, I sure did!). Why? Because I can! Because Type 2 suffering is a luxury. Because I'm healthy and strong and my body will take the beating I give to it. And that is such an amazing thing that I am so very thankful for. And I encourage you to do the same - to perhaps suffer a little more than you have to, just because. Not all the time, but every once in a while, just because. I think there are many people going through some Type 1 suffering that wish they could be so lucky.
Wishing a very Merry Christmas to you all!