“Oh my god,” my relay teammate moaned, “I feel so gross. I’m so uncomfortable and achy.”
We all looked at her in sympathy except the toughest member of our group.
In a matter of fact tone, with a totally straight face, our tough runner said:
“That’s how you’re supposed to feel.”
We all dropped our jaws.
That’s how we’re supposed to feel?
Yes. Racing is uncomfortable. That’s how it’s supposed to feel.
A fun run? That could be fun.
A group hike? That could be leisurely.
A race is gonna be uncomfortable. That’s how it’s supposed to feel.
We human beings have human brains that want to seek pleasure and avoid pain. We want instant gratification and pleasure for everything we do.
When you want to feel instant pleasure all the time, you end up fat and numbed out on the couch watching Netflix every night. You will likely develop addictions and avoid anything difficult.
Welcome to Basic Human Brain 101: Stay safe. Seek pleasure. Avoid pain.
But if you want to run a race…
If you want to make a change…
If you want to be stronger, tougher, smarter, braver, richer, skinnier, healthier, better at that skill, more influential…
You need to rewire the neural pathways of your brain. You need to use the high order reasoning of your pre-frontal cortex. You need to understand your urges for instant gratification and plan around them. And guess what?
It’s not easy.
You’re gonna want to quit. WHY ME??? I HATE THIS.
You’re gonna struggle and get cranky and whiny and sad. FEED ME, SEYMOUR! FEED ME ALL NIGHT LONG!
You’re gonna have to sit with yourself and feel “negative” emotions. HERE COMES THE SHAME.
It’s going to be uncomfortable. UUUUGGGGGHHHH.
Because that’s how it’s supposed to feel.
Gorgeous, human, pleasure seeking reader: We all want to eat all the things and stay safe and hide out and delay doing difficult things. That’s really normal human stuff.
If you want to change, if you want different results, you have to retrain your brain. Hello, challenge.
Change and improvement is always, every time, going to feel uncomfortable. And that’s ok. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with you.
That’s how it’s supposed to feel. And you can do it. You have done it before. You can do difficult things.
Loving you out there. You know what’s on the other side of discomfort? Everything you’ve ever wanted. XO