"Pain is the feeling of weakness leaving the body" is a mantra seen on some distance-runner t-shirts. Yes, it's horribly insensitive to to victims of torture, and to those who suffer from chronic pain.

But in the context of training for a marathon one must admit that it's quite inspirational, in the same spirit as the Nietzsche/Conan-the-Barbarian aphorism, "That which doesn't kill me, makes me stronger". The implied theory of weakness --- a fluid rather like phlogiston --- is entertaining if fantastical. Like the phlogistonic hypothesis, weakness-as-liquid gets things backwards; that's entertaining too. And of course, too much stress without enough time for recovery is a good prescription for injury.

But for fun, take another proverb (from a recent Washington Post article re Scandinavian Americans): "There is no such thing as strong coffee; there are only weak people." Combine that in a syllogism with "Pain is the feeling of weakness leaving the body".


Drink coffee until it hurts, and you'll get stronger!

(see also BodyMods (23 Dec 1999), LoseTrack (11 Nov 2002), ...)

TopicHumor - TopicLanguage - TopicRunning - 2003-06-07

(correlates: SherlockHolmes, Inventing a Running Machine, Body Tides, ...)