Pain & Gain

You know that old thing people say, “no pain, no gain.”

We’ve all heard it a whole bunch and mostly we don’t take that as seriously as we once did, because the world is getting a lot smarter about how to health-FULL-y progress in our fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle choices to make gains without causing harm to our bodies, minds, and spirits.

But I’m going to take advantage of this moment and this blog to throw a little light onto the idea of making gains, especially in relation to the pains we sometimes have.

We can start with our tall friend #RealBojan who just last weekend took a nasty fall while skiing (trying to avoid some small children on the slopes–don’t insult him by asking if it was his first time). His knee was clearly messed up–swollen and painful. He did the smart thing by going to a doctor and getting it checked out. By staying off of it and NOT trying to “tough it out” by walking around or limping around on it, insisting it would be just fine or that he could walk it off. And with the new info from an MRI and doctors’ recommendations, he will take the steps necessary to repair his knee and to recover fully. It’ll take some time, and a lot of dedication to rebuild strength and endurance, but he will get better.

Our friend Joev is another example of a dude with a clear and obvious injury that took him out of commission for a while to let his broken bones heal. But follow his social media and see how his commitment to physical therapy and gradually rebuilding his mobility, strength, and endurance has brought him back to climbing stairs and running hills with the tribe, like the good old days before his injury.

But you don’t need the pain of a broken bone or an MCL tear to start paying attention to your body as you stress and strain it through your training.

If you find yourself in PAIN while you run, climb stairs, do burpees, or whatever other fitness movements you do, it is not the “cool thing” or the “tough kid thing” to do, to just be in pain and expect that it’ll get better on its own. Believe me, I know how hard it is to have even a small strain or injury that requires some rest, or some treatment by a physical therapist, sports massage therapist, chiropractor or other body-work professional. I know the defense mechanisms we all have in our heads that prevent us from taking action to help our bodies heal and recover — that instead cause us to deny, ignore, and avoid the realities of a pre-injury or an actual injury. I drastically prolonged a sprained ankle by continuing to run on it for 3 months after spraining it, and ended up having to completely stop running for almost 4 months in order to help it heal. I could have handled that so differently and I wish I had. But lesson learned!!

So let’s do this:

Let’s talk more about the warm up routines and cool down routines we do and want to start doing. (Good prevention tactics!)

Let’s talk more about the recovery practices we can be way better about using like stretching, foam rolling, and icing. (More prevention!)

Let’s stop pretending that the nagging “pains” in our bodies are just going to go away and let’s get smarter about how to care for them. This will probably mean asking more questions and looking for more information from people who know more about it than we do ourselves.

I don’t have all the answers* (damn I wish I did!) and I’m certain that we each need to figure out what works best for us, but let’s actually help ourselves and each other get better by getting better when we aren’t at our best. We shouldn’t be training in PAIN.

Let’s be our best every single day and keep making true gains by training hard, recovering hard, and healing hard when we need to as well!

Keep changing the world, my friends.


#JustShowUp to the final February Destination Deck on the Common. Our #celebrityshot co-leaders for the day are going to be running the show and we can’t wait!!


If you didn’t get to order a buff and you want one, bring $5 to the workouts next week, there will be opportunities to purchase them all week long.

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