“Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
I saw this quote printed on the t-shirt of a Marine Corps recruiting officer at the X-Games in San Francisco (undoubtedly a target rich environment). The pain this quote refers to is the temporary, and often self-inflicted kind.
I encounter this pain when I do my daily PT exercises. I am now doing one-legged dips, where I stand on a step with my left foot, push my butt back and bend my left knee, touch my right heel to the ground, and then push up with my left leg so that my right foot meets my left on the step. I struggle with this exercise. Each time I dip down, I am reminded how weak the muscles around my hip are, and just how much work I have ahead of me.
Sometimes I don’t feel like doing my exercises. I hear that little voice in my head, “My hip flexor hurts, my groin is tight, and I could use a rest.”
But then I remember the people who constantly struggle with a defiant foe – my challenges pale in comparison with theirs. They are the people who make me stronger. They are my heroes: Michael J. Fox, who in the face of an incurable disease remains infectiously optimistic, Muhammad Ali, whose charisma and voice will not be beaten by the blows of his challenger, and, Terry Fox, who ran the equivalent of over 127 marathons in 143 days before his cancer returned and ended his Marathon of Hope.
I lived with chronic pain, but my hip resurfacing solved that problem. I now deal with a different kind of pain, but it is temporary, and I will defeat it with time and hard work. So, when I have to do another set of one-legged dips, I will remind myself that pain is just weakness leaving the body. When I don’t feel like doing another workout, I will remember Michael, Muhammad and Terry. They would get up and face their opponent with a smile.