Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Putting the Damage On…

“Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.”
- Henry Rollins

At Pilates tonight, my teacher really pushed me.  She asked more of me than she ever has before and despite fatigue and a foul mood, I responded with strength.  It hurt and it was more than I expected but there was something comforting in how my body just did the work.  My mind shut off for the hour and I let my muscles do what they are meant to do.  As I sweat, as my legs shook and my core tightened I did everything she asked of me and when it was done I tired but content.  It was peaceful.

Halfway across the country, one of my best friends Katy McCabe is nearly done with a four day 160 mile ruck march to celebrate the 236th birthday of her beloved Marine Corps.  Her text to me tonight was simple: “This is brutal.” 

Putting the damage on lets us have opportunities to overcome something bigger than ourselves in the moment it’s presented.  It’s a way to break things down to the simplest of places.  The place where your body is pushed, pulled, prodded and all that is demanded of you is all that you are physically and you choose to endure.  You choose to continue.  You let the damage build you up as it systematically tries to break you down.  It’s one of the purest and most honest gifts we can give ourselves.  Rising from it – not around it – we are better. 

I’m always asked about how I feel about pain and my perspective is unique.  It’s not something I fear because it’s simple and it’s pure.  One of the most primal things we as humans have.  I’m not a masochist, I’m not a person who enjoys pain or inflicting it… it’s just a concept I’ve always felt very curious about.  I’ve learned that when you cease the struggle against it and accept it’s place it can be empowering and one of the greatest teachers we can have.  So don’t shrink back when it arrives… put it on.