I’m Thankful I Learned How to Suffer

Posted: November 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

“Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Muhammad Ali’s words have been on my mind a lot for a while now, because just over a week ago I passed the physical test I’d been training for. It’s a challenging test, one that women tend to struggle to pass. My goal was to pass it on my first try. “Just suffer for ten minutes,” I told myself as the test was approaching, “and change everything.” And I did.

I played sports in high school, and in the years since then, anytime I’ve been training for a race or working to accomplish something similarly challenging, I’ve thought various times that the most valuable lesson I got from sports was how to suffer. To suffer well, that is, and to get stronger by not quitting until the task is done. Coaches have a lot of names for it: discipline, facing adversity, not giving up, grit, digging deep, hustle, heart. I learned from having coaches push me past the point where my body started to complain that I could go farther and faster than I had thought was possible. I learned to work harder at the exact moment when I most felt like giving up. They pushed me, and so I learned how to push myself.

Passing this test doesn’t mean it’s over, though; the test was just a threshold level, a smaller goal on the way to the overall goal. As soon as I get over the cold I have now, I’m looking forward to getting back to my normal workout routine to get prepared for the next phase.

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