Admit it: many of you dig the soreness. You complain about it (“Oh, my traps are SO tight” “Those lunges KILLED my butt”) but somewhere inside, you think it’s cool. You kind of look forward to it. A day without soreness feels unproductive, like you didn’t do enough over the last few days.
At my first L1 Seminar, Greg Glassman (CrossFit Founder/CEO) asked us: “How many of you are really sore? Raise your hands.” (Many hands went up.) “How many of you kinda dig it?” (Almost all hands stayed up.) “You all are some sick motherfuckers.” We laughed, but, inside, we all knew he was (sort of) right.
Why do we dig the soreness? Some folks point to our obsessions as unhealthy, particularly this one. They say it’s not normal to be sore often from exercise. That it’s unhealthy, that we are unhealthy in our health. That something is wrong with us because we don’t mind the soreness and that, sometimes, we kind of exalt it.
But, tied up in this condemnation is the core belief in our society that life should be painless. That achievement means less pain. That to “make it” means you have it easy and good and sweet and lazy.
Well, that’s fucking wrong.
Or, if it’s right—if the goal of life is to be pain free and swaddled in cotton and doped up on food and couches and “leisure time”—then I’m okay with being wrong. I’m okay with feeling a bit of discomfort and feeling alive because I feel … something.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m no pain junkie. I don’t have a lot of scars or tattoos or piercings or brands or anything else the outside world might use to judge me and say I’m pain addicted. You’re not going to find me putting my hand on a hot stove or slamming the stapler on my fingers for fun. But I do kind of like the soreness the day after a good workout. Not pain, like something is broken or torn. But sore, like I did some work yesterday and the day before. Like I used my body for a purpose. Like I pushed myself to places I needed to go.
I’m not anesthetized. I’m not numb. I am here. And I’m breathing. Bring on the challenges. I’m ready.