Physical and mental pain are our co-habitants on our journey through life.
Deal with it.
Lots of sympathy and empathy.
I have a very high threshold for pain and I know that some of it was gained at a very early age because I was raised (by my brother) that pain was for pussies and he prescribed the remedy of the day for ANY injury suffered on the football field: “shut up and rub some dirt on it.”
Didn’t matter that you might be suffering a life-altering injury and that you might walk with a limp or the rest of your life.
At least you weren’t a pussy.
My brother was playing high school football (where he was a star middle linebacker) and I was playing Pop Warner football where I HAD to star as a guard AND middle linebacker. Every day after football practice, mom would pick me up from practice and then go out to my brother’s high school before driving home.
I was exhausted, as I had been raised to give 100% even in practice. I was tired, sore, and ready to hit a hot shower.
But I wasn’t done.
Ed made me line up against him in the back yard with our full pads and helmets on. The rules for our drills were simple: make it into the house for dinner alive.
We played a two-man Oklahoma drill where we would place our helmets about 5 feet apart. Ed gave me the football and I had to make it past him for the imaginary touchdown. We did this drill hundreds of times and no matter how hard I lowered my head and hit him with everything I had, my big bro never let me sniff success.
But when I let out all that frustration I felt on my own league, I was Brian Bosworth at age seven.
I’m in my junior year of high school in South Carolina. Our football team went 0-10 and we were never in danger of even tying, more less winning a game.
I made the team as an outside linebacker and we were playing in our homecoming game. I’d like to say we performed a miraculous upset in front of the crowd, but we got our asses kicked (again) 45-0.
The pain part came in the form of a dislocated left shoulder I suffered in practice.
I couldn’t tell mom or dad; definitely couldn’t tell my brother.
So what did I do?
Back off contact and play it soft so as not to further damage my shoulder?
I threw myself violently into the thick of the fray and after every play, I would have the guys encircle me while one of my mates held me square and another guy popped my shoulder back in place.
Hurt like a bitch, but nobody knew.
Real smart decision.
I can’t lift anything over my head with my left arm and it has been like that since I was sixteen years old.