It’s not that anything worth doing has to suck.
People get this wrong. They talk about worthwhile efforts but they concentrate on how horrid the experience was and how awesome they feel that it’s over.
They think (and convey) that the suck made it great. And that anything worth doing has to suck … or it’s not worth doing.
Let me repeat that for the crowd at the back: IT WAS NEVER ABOUT THE SUCK.
Not in fitness and not in life.
Yes, it’s about what’s on the other side of the suck. But, mostly, it’s about what the suck reveals about you.
It’s about who you are in the suck. (Or who you are if you avoid the suck.) About what part of you rises and what part of you falls. About what happens and how you react when things get real.
(That’s important, too. Like my man Springsteen says, “Certain things are set in stone. Who we are, what we’ll do, and what we won’t.”)
Putting yourself in a difficult situation or putting yourself in a moment where you may not be comfortable doesn’t have anything to do with enjoying discomfort. It’s not even really about the discomfort.
It’s needing to know who you really are underneath the upbringing, the education, the polish, the face, the money, the social status, the surface. About who you fundamentally are.
And to find that out, you put yourself in the discomfort, in the unease, in the suck. You go to your dark place.
Like I once told The Atlantic: “You’re looking to find the edge, and you never really know where the edge of yourself is unless you go over it. That’s something I think we search for a lot in life. All of life is not a happy walk in the park, and maybe there’s a corollary there for some of us in our workouts. By finding this point that we push past in our workouts, it helps us to carry on in a similar fashion in our personal lives.”
Pain unmasks. Pain reveals. And, yes, pain hurts.
But you can use pain. It’s not without reward.
- Listen to your pain
- Listen to your hurt
- Listen to the suck.
And use those revealed truths to improve who you are as a human being.
Because the suck is there … but it was never about the suck. It was always about getting to the truth.