Skip to main content

No Pain, No Gain

I believe most everyone has heard this and many believe this saying. I am torn on this statement. As I sit here on my computer on a gorgeous Sunday, I am not out and about because I have a slipped disc, of some sort, in my lower back. I believe I have a high pain threshold and the pain at one point got so bad, I considered leaving work, in near tears. My doctor told me to stay off my feet for 48 hours. Anyone that knows me, knows this is almost impossible. I thought I could accomplish things around my house and not kayak, and consider this as “staying off my feet.” So as I woke on Saturday morning, I went out to take care of my deck, which required cutting the existing deck and installing new boards. This about killed me. So I went inside, did my exercises, got on the computer, worked on a video project I am working on for one of my athlete’s and then figured I could make my way out to Lowes and buy groceries. This was one of the most painful trips I have taken in a long time. I struggled to pick up about anything I needed for groceries. I doubt anyone really cares but here is my point: I have pain, a lot of it, and there is no gain for me mentally or physically by being hurt.

Or could there be a gain? I know when an athlete gets injured and can’t-do what they love, they come out swinging. It is a decision that is made to persevere (continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success). As crazy as it sounds, I look to my dog for inspiration. About 2 years ago, I had to make the difficult decision to amputate his front leg. When I am out hiking with him, I often get comments from strangers about how a missing leg doesn’t slow him down. Point taken. Crap happens. Carry on. It is out of my control why I am sitting here injured. It is not due to doing something stupid. I believe it is just part of getting older and still going hard as an athlete.

Why write a post about this? I believe being an athlete that is injured is one of the most difficult things an athlete can do in their “career.” It would be easy to turn to depression and all the negative things that can go along with that. Or one can focus on other things in their life, keep their head held high and come out the other end stronger and more grateful. So if you not out enjoying your sport due to an injury, keep your head up and keep your mental game sharp because this is just a temporary thing. Shine on!


I started kayaking in Wisconsin of all places, because this is where I am from. I then moved to San Diego and took on kayak surfing along with heading to the Kern River when water was available. I then made the move to Asheville, NC and have been hooked on this sport since my Wisconsin days. With whatever it is that you do, do it because you love it, not because society tells you should or for other outside factors. Don't simply exist, live!