“I squeezed harder. I let the pain build up in his hand. Watched it register in his face. Then I squeezed harder still. That’s what gets them. They think it’s already gotten as bad as it’s going to get and then it gets worse. And then, worse still. Like a ratchet, worse and worse like there’s an infinite universe of agony ahead of them stepping up and up and up remorselessly like a machine. They start concentrating on their own distress and then the decision starts flickering in their eyes…they start worrying about whether it’s going to get any worse, and it is. For sure. There’s plenty more to come, there’s always more to come.”
-Jack Reacher 1960-forever
As you know the only job I would want to do aside from the job I have is to be a 6’5” 250# caucasion former military cop turned vigilante drifter out for justice with an appreciation for Americana. Since it is unlikely that I will achieve that dream I am forced to live vicariously through the writing of my man Lee Child and his masterfully created character Jack Reacher. The above line is from a Reacher novel and it reminded me of something I have experienced in the gym. Most folks who have pursued CrossFit with any real intensity have been there at least once. I think it is what people fear most about CrossFit more than anything else except for injury. It is the pain. They think they are going to suffer. And they do. Not because CrossFit is torture but because they allow themselves to be tortured. It is a mind game. Your brain will tell you that you are dying and you have to stop. Your brain is a liar. People who run marathons for fun and people who suffer through them to check something off their bucket list differ merely in attitude. They both can and will endure 26.2 miles but one of them will do it with pleasure in the moment and the other will think only of the future pleasure of saying “remember when I ran that marathon.”
One of the Bens described it well as the doom spiral. You had this picture of how it was going to go and not only did it not go like that it was the infinite horrible opposite of the pretty picture from your head and once you start down that path there is no returning.
It takes practice to stay off that road. It doesn’t serve us to go down it but we do. Over and over again. We get to the end and think that maybe we had a few more reps in us and we know that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed at the time. I encourage you to make the decision not to give into the pain. Choose present satisfaction. We chose this and our better is on the other side. This pain is temporary and we are made of tougher stuff.