Pain is your body telling you that you’re taking risks you probably shouldn’t.
Pushing through that pain is the only way athletes achieve true greatness.
We’ve all heard the pseudo-scientific ‘mind over matter’ arguments: the suggestion that we’re all capable of magnificent physical feats, we just need to learn to hack our minds.
This obviously isn’t true. Athletes spend valuable years honing their bodies to be capable of grand feats. A normal person can’t will their body into running a 100km marathon, KO’ing a trained MMA fighter, or dunking a basketball into a hoop they can’t reach; but those who have crafted their bodies to be capable of those feats can hack their minds to propel themselves beyond their competiton.
Being capable of greatness and achieving it are two separate things.
The great athletes of our time are known for accessing ‘another level’, because they each found ways to trick their bodies into accepting that losing their game of choice was the equivalent of death.
This mindset, while potentially unhealthy, is the only way a person can truly lay their body on the line.
Fighters talk about being prepared to die in the ring; and those that are telling the truth will always be the scariest and most challenging opponents to overcome.
I’m not an advocate for the idea that the honour of victory is more valuable than life itself, but the power that thinking endows is undeniable.