February 04, 2006

The Other Side Of Pain

Morning Workout
4 hours 29 minutes
Heart Rate Zone: Aerobic (Zone 1) / Lactate Threshold (Zone 2)

1 hour

Random Comments: It was foggy and slightly cold this morning as we were riding up the coast. And then we got to the 9 mile climb. And as we climbed it got foggier and colder. And so we climbed some more. And the fog got thicker. And so we continued to climb. Until all of the sudden we broke through above the clouds. It was nothing but blue skies, sunshine and beauty as if God's hand had reached down and touched us. Or at least finished a helluva paint-by-numbers. As we looked at the road behind us, we saw it weave its way through the lush green mountains and disappear quietly and softly into the clouds below. (Now close your eyes and imagine I wrote that more eloquently.)


You know what gets me all excited? It's breaking through beyond the walls I thought were in front of me. It is assuming my limits and achieving results far beyond.

I love pushing myself hard. Because it hurts... sometimes physically sometimes mentally. I sometimes set goals for myself that seem beyond my reach and then use every ounce of energy in my body to get there. I enjoy that. I enjoy the pain of making that happen. I become a better person because of those accomplishments. The thing is, if you focus your mind, if you push through that pain and embrace the hurt, well.... hold it long enough and eventually it will disappear. You will emerge into a place of peace and beauty and serenity. That place lies on the other side of pain.

There is something very liberating about pain; about withstanding and fighting pain. About staring it right in the eyes and spitting down into its face as if it means nothing to you. Ccchat-ptewie! About swinging at pain - one-two, one-two - until it cowers in the corner in fear. Pain is temporary, pride lasts forever.

Lance Armstrong put it best - Someone once asked me what pleasure I get out of riding my bike for so long. Pleasure? I asked. I don't understand the question. I don't do it for the pleasure. I do it for the pain.... I become a happier man each time I suffer.

Rich, Cat and I did a long hill ride again today. The road just climbs up the mountain, weaving in and out of the canyon and going up and up and up for miles. It was cold and foggy for most of the ride. A long, dreary climb. Just one pedal stroke after another after another. And when you raise your eyes up to see what lies ahead, all you can see is that road climbing higher and higher until it fades out of sight. We climbed. And as we neared the top, suddenly we burst out of the clouds and into the warm sunshine and clear blue skies. It seemed so fitting. But I tell ya, the incomparable beauty on the top of the mountain, looking down at the road we traveled, is exactly what it looks like on the other side of pain.