Riding the Waves of Pain

Life is so much like running. No matter how many years you’ve been doing it, or how fast you are, there will come a point in a race when it hurts; and when it does, no one can take the steps for you, you must look within for strength and courage. How many times must I hurt before I realize this?

Looking to someone else for your happiness will suck the life out of both of you. Lately, I’ve been doing quite a bit of this. Generally speaking, I am a happy person, but every now and then (even at 45 years old) I fall into the trap of thinking that others are the source of my happiness. When this happens, those people naturally retreat, leaving me feeling rejected and perpetuating my unhappiness. I have been going deeper into this dark place, but this is a good thing, because I’m tired of being here and I see that I have the power to change.

I have always held my own power but I wasn’t hurting enough to pull that virtue out, until I hit a wall and things became more clear to me. I have to start reaching for the confident, happy, funny, compassionate, bad ass girl that is the TRUE me. She is not far from the surface, in fact just typing those words make me feel exactly those things. I have to stop caring what other people think of me. I am not kidding when I say that lately I am hurt by the smallest thing – someone honking at me, or a rude store clerk. I’m done caring so much about what others think of me. I read this today and it completely hit home:

I can, and will, get over this pain. I’m stubborn and a fighter. Plus, there is no way out of this race called life unless I take charge of this. I have the energy and the motivation to do this. I am feeling strong in my life, and feeling strong going into my next marathon.

I will step up to the starting line of my next race fully knowing that the pain will come, and when it does I will be ready for it. I will compassionately acknowledge how difficult the burn is, and then I will ride the wave of discomfort knowing that it is temporary, that only my legs, mine alone, can reach the finish line. I will remind myself that I have stone cold strength, determination, and endurance. I will do this in my race and I will do this in my life. I have no goal in this marathon other than this, if I accomplish “riding the wave of pain” than I will be incredibly proud of myself. My goal is to accept that the hurt will come and go in my life, as sure as the waves in the ocean, but I am ready and perfectly capable of navigating through it. I can do this, so bring it on.

Here is another post about pain HERE, I have so much respect for her as runner, mother and writer… excellent blog.

What do you tell yourself when it hurts?

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  1. says

    I so get this – the physical, mental and emotional pain. It is hard but you are a strong, confident, happy and badass woman for sure. And you are absolutely right – we all have the power to pull ourselves up. We don’t need to be dependent on others for our happiness. I know that I need to remind myself of that from time to time – that I am strong and that I have it within me to do pretty amazing things. And no doubt that you will do great at your next marathon.

  2. says

    I think it is awesome. Letting it out helps when I feel this way. It seems that you and I are similar in this aspect. I tend to let the littlest things build up and get to me. I find my strength and then it seems to creep back. I am almost 32 and am tired of it myself. Being a military wife as well – we went through ut first PCS after 9 years at one duty stationed that I loved. It was such an eye opener for me and it made me realize a few things about myself I might have never really realized this soon if we hadn’t. You can do this. You are awesome.

    • Lisa says

      Thank you Jess! I feel the exact same way about you. I will be thinking of you tomorrow… fly like like wind beautiful girl!

  3. says

    This touched home with me so much that at one point I wanted to tear up a little. But, then I said to myself “no, that’s doing the exact opposite of what this post is all about”

    Since zack and I have split up, I have felt like all of my happiness left with him. That I truly relied on him to be the happy person that I know myself to be. The strong, independent, resilient woman I have prided myself on being my entire life.To the point where just dirty looks from a stranger can send my heart a-fluttering, stinging.

    Enough is enough
    We are strong women, to hell with this!

  4. says

    “My goal is to accept that hurt will come and go in my life” – yes! I think it helps so much to know that pain is going to come, but it is temporary… we can get through it! Both in running, and in life.
    You’ve had so many big changes lately- we’ve had to move and start over twice so far, (and most likely one more coming next year) and I find most of those first six months, sometimes even the full year, is really tough. I’m extra emotional, sensitive, not feeling like myself. Running helps, being open about it helps, time helps… and eventually I realize I’m back and life is good. Hoping you find that peaceful, strong, happy, confident Lisa soon!

    • Lisa says

      Laura, you’re so insightful, yes, I think the move has been tough. Often times I blow off how stressful it has and, continues to be. The stress adds up and has lead me to this dark place, but no more! I’m done and learning to surf! xoxo

  5. Tim '70-something' Welch, AKA Dad says

    There are a few good things about getting ‘old’… -with the experience of age we learn about the things that frighten us, or which we think might signal the end of life as we know it… -those things we can work through, simply because we have ‘always’ worked through our crises, and we will continue to do so! Your post is a blessing for me, Lisa, because you are elegantly describing the pain of this journey, and the wisdom that comes with time and experience.

    I wish I could wave a magic wand for you, but that would be as wrong today as it has always been. I can only tell you I am here to support you in your ‘race’.

    I love you, daughter, and bless you on this journey.

  6. anthony says

    I wrote this about Lisa’s article on her face book; but I wanted to post it here also to show how her writing has inspired me so much, Thanks Lisa.

    You are such a gifted writer. Spot on as usual ! Golden nuggets for life…you are my muse and an inspiration to all.For all of us we have been fighting a great war within. A war where our mind targets our own cells and proceeds to wreak havoc without mercy. Our enemy is stealthy and sly; like an autoimmune disease much akin to Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Seemingly, their devilish offspring has taken up shop in our blood. It lies deep within us, giving us little notice of when and where our next battle will ensue. Inevitably though, the battles wage on.

    As in every great war, there are borders that must be defended with utmost bravery, never relinquishing an inch, for as we all know even an inch can lead to demise. Our particular war is being fought on three fronts: physical health, emotional well-being, and spiritual

    Our strategies on winning this internal battle is also based on 3 defense system:

    1. Life is Meaningful: I am not a victim. Rather I am a loving, smart woman/man. A believer in God, blessed with wonderful family and friends. That is who we are.

    2. The power of joy: Laughter is the best medicine. Strong period.

    3. Keep the faith: Of anybody, Lisa, you are the only person who knows me as a messed up man before faith. Faith in God, and only in God, can transformed a wretched man like me.

    What a wonderful article “Riding the Waves of Pain”. Keep running and writing !

    • Lisa says

      You’re an incredible man, this resonates with you because you have suffered and risen above the darkness.You’re my inspiration. Love you T! xoxo

  7. says

    Oh my – did we both hit emotional walls this week? My word – reading your post was like reading my mind. I was full of so much self doubt this week it was crazy – and I kept telling myself that I was a strong, confident badass woman. I had to remember to not say badass outloud at school! We can’t always be on our A game and when we aren’t, it hurts like hell. You are a badass woman and I’m proud to call you a friend, even though I haven’t met you yet. Hugs to you!

  8. says

    oh friend, yes, i think we all go there at times. We start to feel sorry for ourselves and all. Then we wallow it more. But thank GOD for his LOVE. He will never let us go, never leave us, never forsake us. But sometimes we must break in order to be built up stronger, yes?
    Love you!

  9. says

    Wow! Thank you for posting this. It’s hard to open yourself up to others but I really think it does help. Your posting not only will help you but others (like myself) who have these feelings pop up. As cliche as it sounds, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Thanks, Kelly Clarkson, for putting those words into a song! 😉

  10. says

    Here’s how well you manage those waves of pain–I would never have thought you had any self-doubt in there from what I have seen. So you manage it with style. And I think you are very brave for even putting this out there. Well done!

    And as many marathons as I have run, I am going to hold onto these thoughts next time through to help ride that pain.

  11. says

    You are on the right path. Don’t be afraid to look for others for compassion but you are right they will not always make sure you are happy. You have to do that for yourself. No matter how painful it is, you will come out stronger on the other side. Did you know I am so excited to be in your circle now?! We have a lot of running to do!

  12. says

    Great post!! I’m not in a good place lately and feel totally stuck, but you are right, there is always a choice. It might not always be easy, but worth it at the end.

  13. says


    Thanks for such an honest post. I totally identify with what you are saying. We need to get our Boston training club going so that we can discuss further!
    Also, thanks so much for adding my link into this post. I am very flattered.

    • Lisa says

      Rebecca, Thank you so much for you kind words, yes, I would love to do at least a few long runs together. I realize we’re not down the street from one another but I would be happy to drive.

  14. says

    So sorry things continue to be tough for you. You’re so right about the marathon. They ALL hurt at some point, no matter how well we’ve trained. But they teach us that pain is fleeting. It is what we make of it. Good for you for putting it all in perspective.

  15. says

    Girl, you rock! I am sorry to hear that you have felt judged and unable to be your true beautiful caring loving passionate badass self. Blogging is very therapeutic and so I hope writing this made you feel better – it sounds like it did. Seriously, you’re a mom to little ones, a marathoner, a great wife – I’m glad that you are taking steps forward to say screw you to the “haters”. I too am struggling with caring less about what others think of me. But anyone who doesn’t want you to be the true amazing you isn’t worth your time anyway. Thinking of you!