See what I did there in the title? You sweat when you run and so I'm saying don't sweat the pain! Funny right? Haha, anyways I really do mean it. As the famous scene from Forrest Gump says "Sh!t happens." So when I'm getting out of the car, about to head down the trail on my run, I do my best to not care about the pain I know is to come.
It shouldn't bother us, because as ultrarunners we know it's going to hurt. We have proven to ourselves time and time again that we can persevere through the discomfort. It's always there within us, we just need to find it. And I know and you know that we tend to find it every time. If we didn't we wouldn't be trail runners. If we didn't have that wherewithal within us we would never have been able to find the love and commitment necessary to dedicate ourselves to the crazy life of ultrarunning.
It's a funny thing to everyday hop in our car, drive to the trailhead, and then put ourselves into a painful place of discomfort that seems crazy to most. But, I love it! It gets me out of my head and into the moment. If I go a day, except for a planned rest day of course, but if I go any other day without a run I feel unaccomplished and unfulfilled. It's something that is imperfect and random. Somewhere where I can have the absolute best day ever or the worst. And I love that.
That spontaneity allows me to try my best to accept and learn to function with chaos. It trains me for the rest of my life, that when things get out of control at school or at home I can remember what I've learned in running and go back to it.
Now because I love this so much it is very foreign to me to not go. If I did "sweat the pain," if I did worry about what was to come I would most definitely not be able to enjoy my run nearly as well if I hadn't stressed over it. My dad states most eloquently that, "Don't sweat the small sh!t." A great quote, from a brilliant dude. In its simplicity it rings true universally. You can't afford for your mental and physical health to stress over what is to come, what has happened, and what you cannot control. Life throws a lot at you, all we can do is battle through it. But the safest way to battle through is by taking it one step at a time with an open mind and present soul.
Which is why this topic reminds me of a story that occurred not to long ago. I went out for a run on a normal route for me and after having just come off of intense testing at school and busyness in general, I was tired and unmotivated. I was worried about how I was going to get through the run and I quite honestly didn't want to go. I thought to myself, "You're tired Jarod, you've been doing a lot, just stay home. Relax." But I realized what would I do at home that would make me any more happy or make me feel any more accomplished than a run. So I went. I pushed and kept pushing and I made it through. It was hard and many times I just wanted to go back home. But, I finished. And then the next day I went out again on the same route. Except the only difference was that I knew it was about to hurt, I was aware of it, and I didn't care. I knew I could do it through my fatigue and lack of motivation. I just sat back and fell in love with the process. I enjoyed the pain and knew it was making me a better person. It was hard of course, but not nearly as the day before and it was much more enjoyable.
By not worrying about the fact that what is to come is going to be hard. By trusting in the fact that you know within yourself that you can push through and enjoy it to the best of your abilities. You'll find that your mindset changes and your more willing to go on those runs that are a little longer or going to be a little more fatiguing. Sit back in that big, comfortable chair in your mind and fall in love with the pain. Use that constant forward motion and know that your presence in the moment will get you through. So keep on going always and don't sweat the small stuff or the pain!
Strive for better.