Friday, December 02, 2005

Different Kinds of Pain

Article 2, Section 4, Paragraph 3, Sentence 5, Word 13, Syllable 1, Letter 2 of the Handbook for Men declares proudly "o". That's right. That "o" is part of a bigger word "good" which is in part of a larger concept: "Working out is good." Yes indeed, all men enjoy working out. We all secretly want to be buff enuff for...looking good naked. Because really guys, admit it, that's the main reason for working out isn't it.

Though of course, like any activity, shaping up the body comes with its own set of parameters and rules. The pithy "no pain no gain" rule is surprisingly true but like all overachieving adages, it misses out on the subtleties entirely and always raises a hand for every damn question the teacher asks! Teacher's pet. For one thing, there are different kinds of pain as there are different kinds of gain. Call me a masochist if you will but I like the pain associated with a good workout, whether through weight lifting or running, aerobic or anaerobic. But the pains differ.

Imagine you haven't worked out for a long time (not very hard for me) and decide to get back to the gym. You go through your by-now-abnormal weight lifting routine and feel good. Next day, you walk around with your arms practically akimbo because everything is sore. Now imagine that you played tennis for 2 hours after a similarly long period of inactivity. The next day, you are also sore, but in a different way than the weight-lifting sore. Each carries with it its own feeling and benefits. This isn't news to most of you, probably, but I'm sitting here relishing my own soreness and felt like talking about it and you can't stop me!

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