Part II – Let’s talk about pain (and why it’s not gain)

You need pain.  Without pain, you will die.  There is a rare condition called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain and Anhydrosis (CIPA) where the afflicted do not feel pain.  They rarely live past 25.


Pain is a basic utility “hey, you up there in the cockpit!  You’re damaging the vessel!  Chill out!”


People with CIPA must inspect for cuts and bruises they cannot feel that can become life threatening.  They have characteristically chewed up and blunted fingers from constant interaction with the environment without care to their digits bashing into things.


Life without pain will be a short one.


But there is another condition far more common and definitely more insidious.  It is called


Cultural Encouragement to Ignore Pain for Gain (CEIPG for short)


Do you suffer from CEIPG?


Symptoms include:

  • Popping a ton of Advil
  • Icing after every workout
  • Wearing sloganed t-shirts that let everyone know how bad you hurt all the time
  • Having more knee braces than fingers
  • And, in severe cases, getting Christmas cards from multiple orthopedic surgeons each year


“So, what, you want me to sit on the couch and wither away!  I’d rather wear out than rust out!”


I am not suggesting you refrain from discomfort.  There is a ton of research that shows that discomfort is mandatory for a happy and healthy human being.

I am saying that if you don’t make the decision to do something about your pain, your pain will make the decision for you.  I have lost track of the number of people I have worked with over the years that were FORCED to take a seat due to a torn meniscus, crippling back pain, plantar fasciitis that feels like walking on glass or just straight up cartilage wear to the point of bone on bone.


David Goggins is a popular purveyor of this.  His message is convoluted at best.



“Persist and you can change yourself to what you want to be.”



“I will basically destroy my body to prove that to be the case”


Take David Goggins with a huge grain of salt.  His methods will lead you to the operating table.  It works for him because he makes a living being David Goggins.  That is the schtick and it is paying him quite well.  You are not David Goggins.  You are David from Quality Assurance or Denise from the Marketing Department.  How much time can you take off because you need a new surgery each year.


The irony, of course, is that whereas the “pursuit of pain” pays David Goggins millions a year in book deals and motivational talks, the rest of the population who is trying to follow in his footsteps are suffering needlessly. And, it isn’t doing what you thought it might to begin with, the abuse of ones body still leaves most people inflexible, still overweight, chronically tired and unsatisfied.  There is no payday waiting.  The reward is just more pain.


I want you to live pain free AND be the healthiest happiest person possible.


Is that too greedy?


I want you to have it all.

Categories: WOD

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