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On suffering and pain – two great quotes

By Jennifer Sage On August 11, 2011 Under motivation, Outdoor Cycling

suffering in spinning class

A recent post on the Indoor Cycling Association website described my own journey through pushing through suffering (on a steep, hard climb just out of my ability level at the time) and the tools I used to get me through it. In the post I challenged you as an instructor to make sure you visited that place on occasion so that you can remind yourself from time to time what it feels like to wonder if you are going to succeed, to battle the thoughts of doubt, and learn how to overcome them. Read “Mind Over Misery: when was the last time you allowed yourself to suffer?”

Well, today I found two quotes that are perfectly apropos to this subject. As a cyclist, you know exactly what he is talking about in these quotes. As an indoor cyclist, we don’t encounter this kind of pain and suffering as much because a hill can always be over with a simple turn of the resistance knob (whereas outside it won’t be, unless you turn around)…. but our less-fit students might feel doubt and pain even when we feel like we are just gliding along.

“Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles.”
Scott Martin

Have you felt that creature? I sure have!! This next quote is my favorite and is the the essence of my ICA article – we always grow when we overcome suffering.

“To be a cyclist is to be a student of pain….at cycling’s core lies pain, hard and bitter as the pit inside a juicy peach. It doesn’t matter if you’re sprinting for an Olympic medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you’re missing the essence of the sport. Without pain, there’s no adversity. Without adversity, no challenge. Without challenge, no improvement. No improvement, no sense of accomplishment and no deep-down joy. Might as well be playing Tiddly-Winks.”
Scott Martin

Scott Martin is a humorous journalist and cyclist who writes for Roadbikerider.com and occasionally for Bicycling magazine.

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