My husband has an amazing tolerance for pain. He’s the sort that endures minor medical procedures with just a local anesthetic (even when a general is recommended and available). He ran the 2008 Chicago Marathon. Without training. (Well, he did run a whole mile the day before the race.)
We are polar opposites in this realm. I’m the sort that avoids all pain and discomfort . . . which may explain why my tolerance is so pitifully low: It never gets a stretching. I’ve been convicted and motivated by the Lord to learn some discipline and grow my pain tolerance this year, so I have been submitting myself to a regular pattern of running (which I’ve posted about previously).
I’ve found my jaunts manageable when I’m thoroughly distracted in thought; reviewing Scripture verses is one of the best ways for me to push through my desire to quit.
Additional news on distracting yourself from pain was found in the January/February 2009 issue of Health. Researchers have found that pain can be better endured when you focus on your favorite food.
Subjects who focused on their comfort-food-of-choice found just that: comfort. The foods with the greatest pain-curbing power (or perhaps the foods most commonly associated with comfort) were chocolate (32%), roast dinner (31%), pasta (14%), pizza (8%), and fruit (4%).
If I were to focus on my favorite foods during my jaunts, my mouth would be watering! Can you imagine fixating on chocolate through your entire workout?! I would likely run straight from my workout into the kitchen to satisfy my raging craving.
I wonder if the research results have less to do with food and more to do with keeping the mind occupied. When pain is screaming at me to stop jogging, mental distraction has kept me going. Reviewing the Scripture I’m trying to memorize has been enough of a mental exercise to keep my mind off the physical exercise.
And fixating on Scripture won’t cause me to binge after a good workout. I’m sticking to Scripture.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” —John 6:35