There are good pains and bad pains. Today I experienced both. First my good pain – my quads are feeling the push from running my tempo run last night. It is just enough burn to make me smile – I am running and the pain is a reminder I am getting stronger.
Now on to the bad pain. When I swam this morning I was not thinking at all and pushed off the wall to start my first length. Within three strokes and several kicks my ankle was aching. As I am thinking of my stroke and counting in my head the lap number (one, one, one) I realize I pushed off the wall with both feet. Hard. Duh, that was not smart. I didn’t have any problem after that remembering to only use my right leg. The workout was a 3,000 meter endurance swim that was quite challenging. The sets increased in length throughout the swim rather than decreased. With 2,300 meters behind me my legs started showing me both the good and the bad pain. My quads were burning from the run and then my right calf rebelled from being the only pushing leg and started to cramp. The rest of the workout I used the pull buoy to give my legs a rest. I made sure to focus on my stroke and keep the pace up. I finished the 3,000 meters and was never so happy to hit the hot tub after swimming.
So pain is not just pain. Some pain fits the saying “no pain no gain”. Such as what I felt from my run last night. My lungs burn when I push my limits – gain pain again. This is applicable in so many aspects of our daily experiences – growing pains, hard lesson pains – all gain pains. Then there are warning pains – like my ankle reminding me to go easy and my calf reminding me to not develop an injury due to overcompensating for my ankle. If I don’t heed the warnings then the pains get worse as do the consequences. So I will appreciate my gain pain and heed the messages of warning pains. One thing I will keep in my memory bank for motivation – I have run 6 marathons and by mile 24 there is pain – good, bad and ugly. But the thrill of crossing the finish line was worth it – the pain from training and the pain from running. The focus is on the end accomplishment, but the pleasure is in the journey. Revel in both.