Talk about getting things in under the wire. This month's Self-Discovery Word by Word blog carnival word is Pain and there is a stellar -- and poignant -- essay on the topic over at Nourishing the Soul. I also was reminded to put my fingers to the keyboard by two of my awesome fellow Impossible-ites. (Are you a member of the Impossible League yet?! If you're reading this, you'd probably love the League almost as much as I do! "Almost" because NO ONE loves the League more than I do! Oh, sure, a few people love it as much, probably but nobody loves it more . . . what was I saying? Ah yes. Returning to the subject at hand.) Vic Magary included this post on pain, Shanna Mann had this to say and, although she's not an Impossible-ite (yet!) the impossibly awesome Mara of Medicinal Marzipan had yet another take on the topic. With all this yummy goodness on the topic what could I possibly have to say? Well . . . let's find out, shall we?! 'Cause I know I'm going to be surprised as I'm working in ephemera here, folks!)
My sister and I (brothers, too, come to that!) spent a significant portion of our formative years on military bases in the U.S. and various corners of the globe. So maybe it's not surprising that one of our favorite sisterly-bonding experiences is to watch GI Jane together. Again and again. (Yes. We're a little bit insufferable. But just a little bit. And by the way? Since I'm talking about GI Jane, let me add this to my
Here's a quote from the film:
Pain is your friend, your ally, it will tell you when you are seriously injured, it will keep you awake and angry, and remind you to finish the job and get the hell home. But you know the best thing about pain? ... It lets you know you're not dead yet!
Ah, yes. It's that last line that's the conundrum, isn't it? Pain reminds us that we're not dead yet. It may make us wish we were . . . but it's pretty clear proof that we're not.
The worst pain I've ever endured has not been physical, but emotional. Running a marathon? Even though at the end of both half marathons I've done to date I've been really grateful that there wasn't another 13.1 miles ahead of me, I still say: Bring it. I can do that. Getting back on my feet after surgery and finding that there was residual nerve damage so that walking or sitting produced a sensation akin to knives thrusting into my pelvis? Yeah, after six months of that I was exhausted. (Chronic pain is a BITCH.) Calcific tendonitis? Worst pain I've ever experienced. On a scale of 1 to 10 that was 12.
But physical pain has such a short half life, doesn't it? We push through it. We recover. It's over. Emotional pain? Not so much. Emotional pain is like a dirty nuclear bomb. It contaminates. It changes the terrain, It can mutate things born in the future. The effects go on and on.
I've said before that I think that those of us who are drawn to endurance events like the fact they are clearly defined: There's a starting line. And there's a finish line. Life isn't nearly so tidy. It's not linear; it spirals like the strands of a DNA helix . . . up and down and back again! And damned if it isn't fraught with pain -- physical pain, emotional pain, even psychic pain.
And much as I love Viggo, I gotta say: Pain doesn't feel friendly. But if you work through it and with it? You'll emerge stronger and be more fully alive.