Pain & resilience

“I like to punish myself L, I like to punish my body and keep pushing its limits.” This was said to my uncle by his colleague when they were talking about exercising and trekking and stuff like that.
When he had told me this sentence, I scoffed. I was a firm believer in “No pain…what’s the catch?” philosophy. It had its effects. A growing kaboose, reducing stamina, and chronic fatigue, which spoiled my mood so much that it led me to eat more, and the vicious circle was complete and running smooth.
Recently, upon the initiation of a cousin, I grudgingly started jogging. It was bad, at first, but it started feeling good when my endurance improved. Put on a fast song playlist and you are one with the road.
It was then that I actually understood what that lady was talking about. The more you push your body, the more you stand to be surprised by what it can do for you. Just when I felt like I had run too much, and could not take any more, the racy track on my mp3 player would egg me on.
Over the past few weeks, I have been going through some tough times. (Nothing too bad, mujhe baat ka batangad banane ki aadat hai!) I have to admit, there are moments when I feel that nothing can save me from this hell…those moments come especially when the AT&T customer-care lady asks me to call after two hours because the system is updating, even though she knows that they shut down for the day in an hour! Telecom in the US is no comparison to what it is in India. I could call hutch at 3am and be dealt with patiently by the most wonderfully polite technician…but I digress.
Pain teaches us a lot about ourselves. I believe, or rather, have come to believe that our tolerance to pain is released by the body in punctuation. There will be a time when you feel all the pain you can bear, and days later, you feel an affliction which dwarfs the previous one. This is true for physical and mental strife.
Another thing pain teaches me is resilience. Human beings are so damn resilient. They can recover from anything and adapt to anything. That is the very foundation for most of the arranged marriages in India.
Bernard Shaw said, “”The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
The pain that taught me resilience, and tolerance also screams that we must learn to draw our own line. At no point are we to tolerate less than excellence. If we are getting less than our fair share of anything, it becomes our responsibility to reach out and grab it by whatever means.
Our personalities, however, scuttle such logic. I, for one, am a little more emotional than most, and while I can be ruthlessly cold at times, when I am affectionate with someone, I tend to give them no half measures. Even if it means tolerating less than your fair share…and that brings more pain.
So, I jog, just to feel good, and while I understand the philosphy of serious athletes, I think I choose to verbalize my feelings about it to the primitive stuff like losing weight, looking better, feeling more energetic…

8 thoughts on “Pain & resilience

  1. supremely succinct.. came back here after ages..nice post.. you don’t know what you can achieve.. what you can over come till at first you try.. and push yourself to the brink..have you read lance Armstrong’s – its not about bike?? do read it.. talks about pushing your self beyond your excellence..

  2. @rydhun
    Welcome back! Thanks…I will check out the book…too many people have recommended it to me now…abhi to padhna padega!

  3. nice post. will be starting an exercise regimen soon so will see if i agree with this pushing yourself bit.
    as for the 3am technician-you do realize that was probably a clever Indian with a clever accent?

  4. lovely post! Nice quote by Bernard Shaw too 🙂

    My sis always tells me and I believe in this — what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

  5. @Anjana
    Thanks…the 3am tech was Indian..with a regular Indian accent…all I am sayin is that sometimes a desi just is far more practical


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