I do believe there are people out there that just manage the mental and physical stress of pain better than others.
I believe I have a high pain threshold. It takes A LOT to make me quit – to my own detriment many times, because all too often I choose to ignore my body’s warning signs in order to stubbornly persist to get to my end result (the end of a race, the end of a workout, whatever).
I believe this to be a sign of my immaturity as an athlete. I know many elite athletes and while they are definitely a hearty bunch and endure their share of aches and pains while training and competing, they have an understanding and an awareness of their body that I have not yet acquired.
Pain and discomfort are a part of the training process. To get better and make performance leaps, you absolutely have to push past comfort – both mentally AND physically.
But the elite athletes are able to discern between discomfort and the pain of growing muscles and the pain of impending injury that will sideline them.
That is where I want to be.
I still vacillate so often between wondering if I should stop because something hurts or suck it up and keep going. Am I growing or am I hurting myself?
At 48 years old and just beginning my foray into competitive athletics, I know that I have not even crossed the halfway mark of my life. I want to experience all life has to offer, but I want to be smart about it.
So I trust that I will gain wisdom as I go along. Enjoy that I can do what most people half my age would not even attempt to do and try to listen to my body and heed its warnings.