Monday, May 18, 2009

Is pain a brick wall?

First of all, if you haven't, you need to take an hour and 16 minutes to See Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. Go ahead. It's well worth your time.

If you've seen it and know what he's talking about re: brick walls, I ask you, is pain a brick wall? Yes or no, but WHY? The floor is yours. If you don't want to set up a Blogger account so you can comment, feel free to send me an email, it's in my profile, and I'll add it for you.


  1. Randy Pausch! Yes, I agree, wonderful lecture. It makes you feel so very lucky to be alive and to have the chance to do what we do. How many people can be that inspirational when facing what he faced?

    Yes, pain is a brick wall, but a surmountable, perhaps fake one. It's all mental, getting past that point, forcing your body to continue when your brain is screaming at it to stop. And nothing I have ever found in life is sweeter than persevering even though I thought all was lost. The sense of accomplishment is indescribable to those that never do it.

  2. My 'athletic friends' - former NCAA basketball and (american) football players always yell at me - YOU GOTTA WANT IT - when they see me go for a run at lunch or hear of an epic weekend workout.

    You gotta want it and sometimes, you gotta want it bad enough to tear the wall down. I'm no athlete. I didn't grow up doing any of this stuff. I want it, I got it and I keep going after the next wall so I can tear it down.

  3. Pain is a brick wall for sure. I think apart from the 0.00001% of people who might truly DIE if they continued to push it, the rest of us just look for excuses to stop. Like Missy, I was never athletic, and this whole "pain" thing is quite new to me.

    I honestly thought that fast, fit athletes didn't have to work out that hard. I thought they were all so gifted that they rarely broke a sweat. I am not joking!!

    My big awakening came last year when Charmaine told me if I have 30 secs to recover for a swim session, it should take me the full 30 secs to get my breath back. This was a revolutionary idea!

    With Coach Sara, this revolution has continued. I've learned to use "pain" as a signal that my workout is on track, that I am indeed pushing myself.

    Good post Keith, and great idea! :) :)

  4. This was a good idea, Keith. I don't disagree with what has been posted already, but I did grow up around and in athletics. My dad was huge into sports and played hockey and ran everyday of his life. We were around that since I can remember. I do think there is a time when talent and the ole gene pool (as this relates to sports) has to kick in and people should be realistic about their goals etc. Of course, if what you want is on the other side of that brick wall...go for it!! But be careful what that wall represents, what you have to tear down, in order to get that "thing" whatever it is. I get what he is saying...don't put limits on yourself, my thoughts are to try to be realistic/balanced at the same time.

  5. Yes pain is a brick wall. For example, some days I just am not interested in hurting all that much....cause I got soccer practice, supper to make, 5 loads of laundry and then a parent meeting, bedtime rituals, packing school bags and then bedtime if I am lucky...on some of those days I want nothing to do with pain and that wall stops me...maybe not you. Other days I want to punish myself for something and I run to that wall and bash my brains and my body out on it and I get over the damn thing and that high keeps me going for days.

    I was laughing when I read this because i thought it is like child birth, you have no choice sometimes to accept the pain and deal with it the best you can with what you have... the good thing about all of this is that when it truly becomes to much for you and you continue to try and fight it... you body is likely to tell you to by passing out. Some of my best workouts hurt and they left me with so much more than a great workout. I say, when possible, up and over you go....

  6. Keith,
    Just wanted to stop by and say "thanks" for the thoughtful post you left on Amy's blog. You are so nice to take the time to offer all your wisdom and she and I aprreciate you always "being present" on our blogs :).

    I agree with Kelly and the others: Pain is a brick wall but also that some people are predisposed to certain talents. Everybody faces different brick walls but just because someone is stronger, faster or smarter doesn't mean that their brick wall was any easier to scale than another's (or vice versa). We all need to appreciate everybody's brick walls because everyone faces their own challenges and figures out how to overcome them in their own way.

    Great post, although I'll have to wait til summer vacay to listen to that speech in its entirety.

  7. in a comment on another posting, Julie said:

    I've been ruminating on this brick wall thing, and I as it sinks deeper into my ole brain, I am liking it more and more.

    You know when you read a really good book, but the REAL story starts after you put the book down? All the ideas slowly sink in and move around and initiate change within? Like a metamorphosis?

    This brick wall thing is like that for me -- I know it has stirred something deep inside me -- I can feel it. :)

  8. Great question Keith. I prefer to avoid the question entirely though and choose to see pain as the very essence of being alive. Sometimes we choose pain and sometime pain chooses us, either way it is how we run towards it or from it that defines who we are. I choose to embrace it, to relish in it. In doing so I find strength in who I am choosing to be. I suppose it is this delusion that keeps me going. Cheesy sure, but works for this kid just fine :)


Looking forward to reading your comment!