Do You Like To Suffer Or Do You Like To Hurt?
I like to group things into categories. It’s not always the most accurate way to think about things or people, but it does make it easier to generalize common observations.
Today, I want to talk about two mindsets that I see in a lot of athletes: those that know how to suffer and those that know how to hurt.
Suffering in this context is simply hurting at a moderate level for a really long time. Endurance athletes suffer. Climbing long hills on a bike or running a marathon hurts and the pain never seems to end.
Hurting on the other hand is tons of pain that ends relatively quickly. These are power athletes like football players or sprinters. Generally, far more painful than suffering, but it ends quickly.
It has been my experience that most people are good at one or the other. Getting a person that knows how to suffer to go all out for one minute is nearly impossible. They haven’t practiced that level of intensity because it is unsustainable for them. It goes the other way too. Even a 10 minute warmup to someone that knows how to hurt feels like agony.
Neither is better nor worse than the other. But it is helpful to know how you are bent. When you understand your strengths, it is much easier to plan your exercise and make it more fun for you.
I know that I can hurt. Suffering isn’t really my thing. Knowing that, I focus more on short efforts and strength because those tend to hurt more. What I do in my workouts might be totally inappropriate for someone looking to do a marathon.
If you don’t know which type of person you are, here are a couple of questions that might help you figure it out. Would you rather sprint 100 yards or run a 5k? Would you rather squat or deadlift a really heavy single or hike a mountain? If you chose the sprinting or weights, you are probably someone that likes to hurt. The 5k and hiker are probably sufferers.
Knowing yourself is key to finding any athletic success. Find something you are good at and enjoy doing and you will continue doing it. If you hate it, you’ll quit.