The Auckland marathon was on today, and as we live right next to the course, I had to pop down and watch the runners go by us at the 32km mark, starting the long slog back into the city.

Chatting to a lady on the sidewalk, she said to me,

"I see all the looks of pain on their faces, and I ask myself, why would anyone do that?!"

A lot of responses came to mind, but I instead diplomatically said to her,

"perhaps the reward is worth the pain"

Of course, that isn't coming from some rah rah, no pain no gain, go hard or go home place.  We've talked a lot here about intensity always being a relative application, and that it's not the only variable in fitness success.

Also, pain does not have to just be the physical pain felt during some exercise bouts or competition.

The 'pain' of early starts.

The 'pain' of saying no to unhealthy food.

The 'pain' of trying and failing a skill.

The 'pain' of mustering the discipline to practice basic drills when you want to lift the heavy weight or do the fancy thing.

The 'pain' of taking on board honest feedback from a coach.

And yes, SOMETIMES, the actual pain of pushing yourself harder than you thought you ever could.

But you don't have to think too hard about the reward of working through these pains, to understand EXACTLY why anyone would do that.....

Darren Ellis