To The Pain

For some reason the quote from the movie Princess Bride is stuck in my head today. King Humperdinck is talking to Westley, telling him it is “to the death”. Westley responds with “No, to the pain”. Then describes how he will make it so the King will not die but will feel every bit of what he is about to do to him…

Last nights run was sort of like that… it felt like it was to the death. But with running, it’s just to the pain. It is obviously not in the same context of the torture described in The Princess Bride, but the way I ran sort of reminded me of that. I was pushing my body to new (and sometimes painful) limits.

For the first time in years (since college) the first number on my GPS read out as a 4:xx. As in I was running at a sustained pace of sub 5 minutes per mile. It was brief, but it was long enough to register, and hold on that pace. It was downhill, but a 4:xx is a 4:xx (to be exact it was 4:58 for a bit) then hovered in the low 5:00s.

To the pain. That’s how I ran, because at this stage of running for me, there is nothing comfortable about running that pace. It hurts. I am not sure what I looked like, coming down the hill, running as hard as I could (under control of course), but I am sure my face had the look of a man being tortured.

You might be reading this and asking “Why”? Why do this? Why push yourself to the point of pain? You might not see the point of finishing a little bit faster or one spot higher on your “age group” list.

The answer however is simple. To feel alive! If I can push myself to the limits like this (especially on a hot humid day) it acts as a constant reminder that the world and it’s circumstances will never determine my actions.

In life, we set our own limits. I want to go beyond mine to prove they are not preset for me. Rarely do we like to become uncomfortable. Doing what I did last night teaches me that LIFE is uncomfortable, and then it gives me the strength to realize I will overcome. Running like that for me is far deeper than just “running”. It gives me peace of mind.

In a world of “can’t” I am trying to live in the realm of “can”. Its more purposeful, and more rewarding.

Do you ever push the limits? Why? How? For what purpose? Leave me a comment let me know.

6 thoughts on “To The Pain

  1. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    I can’t even imagine that pace! I think my fastest sprint has been a 6:30 and I wanted to hurl. Sometimes pushing yourself like that really does make you feel alive!


  2. Mike

    My pace isn’t that fast at all, but “to the pain” is what I feel like when I stretch out to marathon distance. I love it. Ran one Saturday and thought I was going to hurl crossing the finish line. I try and describe the “why” of this for family and friends, but unless they’re doing anything in life that rubs up against “uncomfortable” they don’t get it.


  3. cheryl

    Usually push it at some point during the workout wether it be running, weights, cycling, swimming, yoga. If you just “go thru the motions” there really is no point. Stretching yourself and your limits (but allowing for rest) is a good thing!


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