In a world with a pill for everything we’ve become phobic about pain. Pain is your friend; it’s simply feedback. Without it we’d never know something is amiss or something is effective. From flu and headaches to burning lungs and muscles, pain is data – one type we avoid and the other we must learn to embrace. Focused pain yields results. The body adapts. It strives for survival, and comfort. It super-compensates to repeated activity, so it can better shrug it off. In the process, those compensations accrue, and change you.
Old coaches, those grizzled old people Hollywood stereotypes are modeled after, will tell you, “Everyone’s forgotten how to suffer, and why to love it!” It’s true – there’s invaluable honesty in it. Of course, our mentors, those who lived it and reinvented it and demonstrated it, have died off and made room for the spin-doctors. The spin-doctors tell you that you can have your cake and eat it too and in no universe has this ever proven true, still, they have a pill, a system, a gadget, just for you.
Change only happens at the point of pain – emotional, intellectual, physical pain. Pain yields results. Once we considered it a character building process, a forging through fire, now we medicate. Problem is, truth is independent of our opinion, and science is about truth. Anything quantifiable and reproducible is true. To taste focused pain is to savor progress and to us, this is a science. We have a formula for excellence – love the work! Love the early mornings and the bike warming to your body, love the fire in your lungs and battery acid in your legs, love the endorphins and music and near metaphysical trip, and expect the results. Power, pace, endurance, and the mirror as your bitch! Eventually, simply by how your world, every aspect of it, concedes to you, bows to you, you’ll realize you’re a new creature, an almost extinct breed, and pain is now your friend – and you’ll know that forgotten secret the old timers had almost taken to their graves – pain, the right type and of appropriate measure, is damn near to pleasure. Pain yields results. It’s not a popular message, but it remains universally true. It’s a journey, just start pedaling.
(Every acorn has an oak in it, and every seeker a destination. Come find yours on your Wattbike, and see how tall you grow. She’s not old or grizzled but your instructor is of that rare breed, and knows the journey, and can make a jewel of you too.)