Friday, December 4, 2009

#13 PAIN!

No pain, no gain! Push! Do it! Keep going! 2 More! GO GO GO!!!!

And that's when my foot cramps up.

Pain is your body's way of telling you to stop doing something. I know we learn from pain, probably more profoundly than from anything else, but that's kind of misleading. What we learn from pain is to not do the thing that hurts. Pain avoidance has to be highly correlated to genetic advantage, that's why the learning mechanism is so strong. Now of course women have to endure a certain level of pain for obvious reasons, but for the most part, our anti-pain instincts have to have served the species better than the pain-seeking aberrations. I mean the caveman who was really into burning himself was probably not the most attractive prospect for procreation.

But if Nike commercials and pilates-fascists tell us anything, it's that if we're not constantly pushing our levels of endurance and cheerfully working through the pain we're not worth our
weight in child-labor.
People with high pain tolerances don't understand how much it hurts for the rest of us, and that doesn't mean we're weak. Yeah, there're genetic predispositions toward variant pain-thresholds and I'm ok with that, I mean if you've got a high threshold and you don't mind feeling that burn and even kind of get off on it, well, OK, mazel tov, G-d go with you, go get 'em buddy. You're probably gonna look better for the first 30 or 40 years. But don't condescend to the rest of us. You're the freak, you're the aberration.

But you can't say that, you can't complain about the pain because that makes you a wuss and G-d in heaven if there's one pariah-class in this lonely, busy world, it's the wusses. Well the wusses inherit the earth. The wusses avoid situations that might get them into trouble and pay people to move their pianos and grandfather clocks and sofabeds and consequentially don't get crushed by them (at least as often). The wusses say, you know, I know getting hit in the face hurts and so I'm going to avoid situations where that might happen, and, over time, in the long run, they get in fewer fights, and survive longer. Sure, fighting toughens up the winners, but Goliath went through a whole bunch of young go-getters before that punk David suckered him with a lucky shot. It was the cowerers, the wusses, who carried on, married, had babies and passed on their wussful genes.

I say, "no pain, no pain."


  1. You seem to be confused. Just because you have a high tolerance for pain doesn't necessarily mean that you ENJOY it. Stupes.

  2. There is a great saying in cycle racing that I've often embraced "how deep is your pain cave?" Now parse that in terms of pain avoidance and the tolerance aspects.