Monday, June 05, 2006

Pain, Pills and Persistance
Lessons in Life
After 5 Advil, 2 aspirins, a pain pill and 10 hours sleep on the floor, the back is 88.3% better. Many thanks to John and Derrick for getting my Kayak onto JB's car and to JB for getting it into my garage.

This thing about pain: When jogging became a popular activity, those repelled by the thought of exercising tried to rationalize their position by saying that they never saw a jogger who didn't look as if he were in pain. I always laughed at that since, as a jazz musician, I saw guys blowing rides that looked like they were in the throes of death. Yet, I know, they were grooving and feeling better than anyone in the world. They were into it and intense. It wasn't pain on their face. As a marathon runner, I can tell you that that expression on a runner's face is the same.

Endurance athletes get into what they are doing. They get into the flow and are completly swept up in the micro-world of what they are doing. It is not pain on our faces but, rather, the abscence of the artificial face so many carry with them throughout life. We are never so real with ourselves as when we are lost in our passions. Which, at last, brings us to the pain thing.

It has been shown that athletic individuals have a different perception of pain than do non-athletes. Pain that would be a couch potatoes ideal excuse not to exercise is just a nuisance to us. In addition, when we do exercise we raise our brain levels of endorphins and further reduce the perception of discomfort.

It has also been claimed that long distance runners get fewer colds. When this was studied, however, it was learned that just the opposite was true. Runners, in fact, get more colds... probably because they are always pushing their bodies and challenging their immune systems. What is happening is that the runners percieve themselves as having fewer colds in the same way their perception minimilizes pain.

So, even when ice coats the shore and the "normal" urge is to curl up with a hot toddy, paddlers head out onto the water and runners take to the streets.

Now, the big question remains: Do people do their thing (running, kayaking, etc.) because they feel less pain or do they feel less pain because they do their thing?

Then agian, who cares?

Addendum: Just read Derricks blog and learned that Nancy S. really likes to be mentioned in blogs. So, Hi, Nancy!

Addendum deaux: To JB, dear friend and paddling extrodinaire: You claim to be 37, but that clinking you hear when we raise our glasses is the sound of red blood cells hitting the calcium in our arteries.



JohnB said...

That's not a grimmace on my face, I'm not in pain, I'm just trying to keep my glasses from sliding off my nose! (From this morning's Pickles comic strip.)

It's a Hallmark moment, my "37"--if 50 is the new 30, then I'm only 37, right???

Work that back out!!!

derrick said...

Ok, I'll jump in with you "old" guys and complain. After about 2 hours rolling at devils lake, my poor back is killing me. Paddling every day is a good thing, rolling every day is more like getting tenderized. may not be good for us old dudes. :)

Wow Nancy mentioned on two blogs in one day. Too bad she missed it!