Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pleasure From Pain

Today as I was busting my booty on the stairstepper in the gym, I started thinking about the love-hate relationship I have with working out. I don't particularly look forward to working out most times. In fact, I usually kind of dread it. However, I structure my day around my exercise to make sure I get it in. I go to great lengths to do this.

Most people I know who go to work everyday, go out to lunch at least once a week. In two years, I've gone out to lunch maybe four or five times because I don't want to skip my afternoon cardio. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE eating more than most people do, and I love eating out and hanging out with people, but the feeling of not only eating out but also skipping a workout leaves me feeling rather disgusted later on.

On Sundays, I usually go for a long run to clear the mind and also get the heart going. I'm so addicted to exercise that a day without some sort of activity makes me feel very lazy and lethargic.

When I exercise though, I don't just go through the motions. I think any athlete or bodybuilder will agree, a big part of the pleasure in exercising, is feeling the PAIN! When I'm running, I love the painful feeling of being completely out of breath, legs burning, and lungs on fire! I love working out my chest so that by the end I can't touch my elbows together or do a single pushup.

The pleasure comes from knowing that what I'm doing is insanely healthy and that the harder I work (and consequently the more pain I feel) the better off I am. Obviously there's a difference between a healthy pain and an "I've worked myself so hard I've popped a bicep and am puking from exertion" pain.

Arnold Schwartzenegger mentions this in "Pumping Iron" and says something to the effect of, "Those who can work through the pain barrier make it to the elite level" and further goes on to compare the pump and pain from lifting weights to being better than "having sex with a woman." (Disclaimer: Yes I like the pain and pump from lifting weights, but I wouldn't go THAT far :)

For me it's sort of like putting wasabe on my sushi rolls. I like a good amount of wasabe on those suckers so that after every bite, I cringe, bang the table with fists, and stomp on the ground as the burning travels up my nose and down my throat. Sure it's all sorts of painful, but it's a damn good, sinus clearing pain :)

When I clean my teeth every morning, I brush, floss, then hit em with some Listerine. I like the feeling of my gums burning a little bit as I swish and swoosh the mouthwash because it makes me feel like its working.

People who don't like working out, just havent' stuck with it long enough to embrace the pain yet. When they workout, they do as much as possible without experiencing pain and consequently get little benefit and only experience the inconvenience and annoyance of working out.

Once you feel the pleasure from the pain, workouts become fun and addictive, and you're not satisfied unless you've really made yourself work...and hurt. The old cliche "No Pain, No Gain" is true, but so is "No Pain, No Pleasure!"


Bill Riddell said...

Great post.
If your not pushing that extra rep, another lap of the pool or one more 3 pointer in training you may as well not bother.
Its what gets the results.

Anna B.T. said...

OMG, you're so right. I'm one of the few girls in my gym who really pushes myself to the limit! Maybe you should post a full body "inspirational" pic of yourself :)