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Monday, February 1, 2010


In working out, there is the good pain and the bad pain. Pushing your muscles to grow always hurts, but pushing your muscles too far and causing damage hurts bad, real bad and for a while.

As a geeky, overly analytical lady, I love when I experience metaphors physically for things I assume must also be emotionally true. Metaphors are so fun! With skiing recently, I've been experiencing a lot of the type of pain that no one talks about. The in-between pain. This pain is most commonly experienced by twisting an ankle (or in skiing by getting the damn skis stuck around a tree or something). Everyone misplaces a foot now and again when walking and, tweek, there is that pain. It f-ing hurts, it might for a bit, but by the end of the day, it will be forgotten. This is the type of pain that really makes you stronger. In the book, Younger Next Year, by Chris Crowley and Dr. Harry Lodge, they talk eloquently about this topic. I'm gonna break it down for you like you are a three year old. When you challenge the tiny muscles of your joints, you are stretching them and forcing them to re-build and become stronger. Just like lifting weights causes tears in your muscles that must be repaired hence getting bigger, every tweek of the ankle is actually like a couple of push ups for the thing. It's better if you don't have to feel the pain. Your ankle being so flexible that it never tweeks is ideal, but at least, with the pain, you can know that soon you will be stronger and better able to wildly conga on that ankle.

I really hope the concept applies as a metaphor for emotional experiences too. Let's face it. That shit hurts worse. As a child, I was so shy that I would cry if a stranger talked to me. I would just panic. I also had no concept of irony, sarcasm, or humor. Just a very literal tyke. Any joke, therefore, seemed really mean and I would cry again. This is not something I'm proud of, but hey, I was four. I can't take full responsibility for my actions. Something I've learned since then, though, is crying sucks. Sometimes necessary, like during holiday movies, but in general, feels bad, makes it harder to function, think, or move on. I'm still a bit of a sensitive ninny, but I'd like to think that every time I feel a tweek, and don't let it get to me, I'm getting stronger and more capable of fun in any scenario. By the time I'm 90, someone could drop me in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by bitchy hyenas with the magical ability to talk, like a cartoon, and I'll be so strong and charming that we'll all end up doing each others nails. If I cried in that scenario, I'm sure they would just eat me.

In conclusion, pain is ok, crying sucks.

1 comment:

  1. Here, here.

    a) I adore that good pain that comes from working out or really pushing yourself. It follows you around and gives you high fives all day - "Good job!" your body calls out to you. "Keep it up."

    b) Yes. Crying sucks. It really sucks. But sometimes it's also the only way to really distance yourself from overly emotional events. You cry until your pain and misery is tired out of you - and then as your face dries, your heart heals.

    But yeah, don't go crying in front of hyenas. I'm pretty sure they'd think you were flavoring yourself for them.