One of my collegues said this phrase the other day and I find it so interesting.

We think of pain and suffering as something that is done to us either by others or by conditions or accidents.  In all cases, it’s something we avoid or escape from as soon as possible and by all means possible.   And yet, here is someone telling me that he would have been a better runner in his youth if he had learned how to hurt.

Of course, it’s a runner.


This isn’t the mantra of a recreational runner.   This is what someone might say who is accustomed to training hard to reach pace goals, personal records and even victories – you have to learn how to hurt.   You have to be able to feel the deep discomfort and pain in a race and be passed by someone and, instead of giving up and holding steady or falling off completely, you have to be able to take on even more pain and lean into it – speed up and regain your position.  You have to hurt even more than the other guy as you catch up, pass and kick away, to cross the line first.

Learning how to hurt means not allowing pain to be an excuse to NOT push harder.   Pain is irrelevant.   You have goals and you have training and being in pain can never be greater than the dreams you have worked for.

Wow.  That’s some stuff right there.


The featured image is Deena Kastor beating Constantina Tomescu-Dita at the 2005 Chicago Marathon to finish first.  Deena is a personal hero of mine and her courage and her ability to take on pain is tremendous.   


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