Sunday, December 1, 2013

My (Former) Philosophy of Sports: "Pain = No Gain"

I don't love pain.

As a young teen, I played volleyball. It became obvious early that I was not destined for volleyball greatness. You see, I had decided that sacrificing my body was not a good idea. If the options were me hit the floor or the ball hit the floor, the answer was obvious: the ball. The ball wouldn't get hurt; I probably would. As a result, I stuck to hitting and blocking. My volleyball career ended early.

Next, I joined the softball team. My family had played softball often, and I enjoyed hitting and playing outfield. The first few practices were great. One day, our coach ran us through a sliding drill. As my teammates discussed their best sliding injuries, I noticed that softball also required sacrificing my body. That was the day I moved from softball player to team manager. Scorekeeping from the bench did not involve injuries.

We spent this Thanksgiving weekend with my in-laws and their friends. The large group activity yesterday was paintballing. I enjoy target shooting. If I had a bucket list, I think paintballing would have been on it. However, the day brought apprehension. I had not considered the pain involved in paintballing. Welts? Not my thing. If it's painful, it's not good, right?

With a mixture of nervousness and excitement, I added layer upon layer of clothes. Can you get welts through three pairs of pants? The answer is yes. I have a nice puffy, bruised welt on my inner thigh and a little one on my ankle. Yep, they stung. But the fun was worth the pain.

Now I understand why my teammates bragged about bruises and injuries. They are a kind of trophy for going all in. A softball player's decision to slide happens in an exciting moment. Getting shot with a paintball happens in an exciting moment. The pain is not the fun part, but the resulting wound is a reminder of the fun of the moment. Like a souvenir.

I may need to rethink my philosophy. Pain may lead to gain after all.

Oh, and you should try paintballing.


  1. Replies
    1. We should definitely do it again!

    2. Love it!!! "Can you get welts through three pairs of pants?" - That is so you, Davy Jo! ;-) Thanks for the laugh today! We should so go paintballing some day!!!

    3. That would be a blast, Jackie!


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