Falling in Love With Purposeful Pain

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Last week, I signed up for a weight training session at the gym. It was my first time doing weights and while I’ve been increasingly interested in training in the last year (rowing being my current drug of choice), I didn’t really know what to expect.

An hour later, I was absolutely smashed. The next day, I woke up and could barely walk. There were sore muscles in my arms and legs that I didn’t even know existed and they (and I) screamed out in pain.

But you know something?

Not once did the thought even cross my mind that I wouldn’t go back for my next session. Never was there a moment in the day that I was upset that the trainer had pushed me hard. In fact, every time I spoke to my husband about it, I gushed about how much I loved the trainer and how glad I was that I’d finally found someone who would push me the way I liked to be pushed, who could take my upper limits and stretch them beyond what I could even imagine. I had expected the pain, even wanted it. Had I not felt the pain or the push, I would have come home convinced that it didn’t work. The pain was proof that the effort I was putting in was WORKING. It provided evidence that I was GROWING.

The pain of working out or challenging yourself physically is not a pain that is endured for the sake of pain. It is purposeful pain.

Tomorrow, I have my next session. The pain from the last session has just about subsided though there is still an angry purple bruise on my leg from where I smashed a dumbbell into it (stupid, stupid). I’m not expecting that hour in the gym tomorrow to feel comfortable or easy. But I’m going anyway, willingly and with excitement, not because I’ll enjoy how I feel during that one hour, but because I know how incredibly happy and proud I will feel at the end of it. And because I’ve already grown and beaten my personal best in the last session, it’s not going to be half as painful the next time around.

Are you seeing a parallel to writing yet?

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