Suffering

My wife gave me her standard smirk when I mentioned to the kids that today’s rainy 45 degrees was perfect running weather.

As runners, we all have family who insist we are a bit crazy for willfully subjecting ourselves to the pain of endurance training.

Unless you’re an athlete, it’s difficult to understand why one would push through years of physical discomfort for little more than a finisher medal or finish line banana and bagel.

But of course it’s the intangible rewards that keep us at it.  The confidence gained from rising to a difficult challenge.  A sense of accomplishment from completing a race.  The feeling of incredible mental peace in a physically taxed body following a workout.

But maybe the most important result from endurance training is resilience.

The famous Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote:

“It is in times of security that the spirit should be preparing itself for difficult times; while fortune is bestowing favors on it is then is the time for it to be strengthened against her rebuffs.”

I like how Tim Ferriss put it a bit better though:

The more voluntary suffering you build into your life, the less involuntary suffering will affect your life.

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