Strain to Gain

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“Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

The macho T-shirts could not be more incorrect.

What is intended as a powerful metaphor for working through obstacles has become a mantra inviting injury.

Pain is an indicator of danger — life threatening danger.

The truth is, the most effective tool for development is strain.

It is the adaptation to an uncomfortable stimulus which stretches us beyond current boundaries, not jumping to the next plateau before we are remotely prepared.

Pushing to the edge leaves us expanded, similar to the joint aches associated with a growth spurt.

In this manner, we move improve inch by inch instead of breaking in two.

Weakness leaves the body by degrees over time.

Strain tests and builds capacity. Pain exceeds it.


1 Response to “Strain to Gain”

  1. 1 snapurly April 18, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I liked this post the first time I read it, but it didn’t impact me like tonight when I re-read it. I have been running pretty consistently over the course of 2011. Though the routes have stayed the same, my effort has changed recently. I have started noticing that my pace has quickened a bit as my endurance has increased. Attempting to keep this pace up during the duration of my run has been challenging to say the least and “strain to gain” couldn’t be more appropriate to describe the challenge I am facing in doing it. I hope that I am able to come out on top and wish you best of luck in all of the “strain to gain” challenges in your life.

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