Pain and Suffering

 overhead squat

There is a discussion going on right now on the GORUCK Tough Facebook page regarding the best quotes from GORUCK. While most involve a colorful exploration of the “F” word, my favorite is this little gem:

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

It is sooooo true. We all have to put in hard work, and a lot of the time it sucks. We all have the choice in how we deal with the suck. You can let the suck consume you, and typically those around you, or you can embrace the suck. You are always free to choose your reaction to what is thrown at you, even pain.

An example from the GORUCK challenge was when the team was carrying the logs, which dealt out some real pain. Chris, our leader at the time, had the gang singing songs and laughing while carrying this several hundred pound piece of rotting wood up narrow trails over roots and rocks and creeks for an hour or two, in the dark. Instead of focusing on how much that sucked, i.e. suffering through it, the team leaned in and laughed their way through it. Same pain, very different experiences.

This applies to so many aspects of my life. I always have a choice, and I’m gonna choose to smile over suffer 100% of the time. The way you choose to react to a situation is wildly contagious. If you are part of a team, you can bring the team down with your complaining and whining. People will follow you down that trap. By the same token, put on your damn happy face and bring the team up. They will follow you in that direction too.

Your choice.