We are all broken.
Show me someone who says they are perfectly unharmed and I’m looking at a liar, or someone trying desperately to put up a brave front.
None of us gets through life in an inviolate state.
There is no one left unscathed; only those who have managed to bounce back quicker or higher.
And yet we find our sanctuaries: places that help us to heal, to put ourselves back together, to make us stronger, to grow scars over the wounds. For some of us, that place is the gym. We find our respite (somehow) where there is no respite: we find it in the workout.
Some of us come to these places to heal through fire.
Like heat that cauterizes the wound, the new pain takes the old pain away. We go deeper into the darkness in order to escape, to free ourselves. We go through in order to get through, to emerge on the other side into the light, to fall in triumph, and exhaustion, and some kind of gratitude that such light even exists. We don’t want to escape for just right now, we want to go beyond and leave the pain, make it a memory, abandon it like a sandbag after the run, a barbell after the workout, an empty water bottle.
We used that pain, and now we can walk away from it.
It makes no sense to the others, the people outside our circle, who don’t understand yet.
If you’ve anesthetized yourself to life, it’s hard to understand what the raw edges feel like, the grittiness, the harsh reality. It’s hard to understand that the tight cornering and jarring ride of the sports car is somehow preferable to the cushioned, soft travel of the Cadillac. It’s hard to understand that you can feel discomfort without being consumed by it—and that somehow it helps you to find your way.
But we know.
And, hopefully, we are all moving beyond broken, with every workout and every day.