“What is it about the pain of endurance sports that’s fun?” he asked me. He added that when asked why he keeps running races, “I say...um...because the pain is sort of the point? Because it’s good to push yourself to the point of breaking?
“My thesis is that the pain isn’t an obstacle to achievement so much as part of the achievement. We actually want to suffer.”
The writer of the article believes that he is just referring to fatigue and not pain.
When I ran my marathon I felt fatigue and a little bit of knee pain but mostly fatigue. I pushed through, mainly because I wanted the gold Mickey Mouse head medal. I seem to be willing to stop a lot quicker when it is fatigue rather than pain. Pushing through pain is an accomplishment.
You might think I am crazy saying this, but it is true, when it comes to me. Pain signifies weakness in me and fatigue is just needing a rest. When I was younger I would give up on things as soon as they got difficult or painful unless I really wanted it. When I was 29 and fat I decided I was not going to do that any more. I wanted to be someone stronger than I was.
This does get me in trouble some times. Last year I tore my radial ligament in my right wrist while doing a jerk and then went on to do the WOD (which included pull-ups). Then I did the WOD the next day as well. The pain was pretty bad at this point so I went to the doctor and this stubbornness led to surgery.
I try very hard these days to recognize pain I can push through and pain that I should not push through. Good vs Bad pain is a tough thing to recognize. This brings me back to the article's first question about why do you run? I run to get stronger and faster and pain helps me know when that is happening. Pain is one of my motivators.