Find this picture here.
We've all heard the story of the the whiny little princess who couldn't sleep because of a little pea under her mattress, right? I always thought it was a far-fetched tale, until I metaphorically "slept in her bed". No, I haven't been sleeping on 29 thousand mattresses and this has nothing to do with my bed....
Let me explain.
See, the princess had been pampered her whole life. Something out of the ordinary, namely a little pea under her mattress, caused her cushy status quo to be upset. That tiny thing was a HUGE discomfort to her, whereas someone who is used to sleeping on rocks would have slept like a bear in winter on that "lumpy" bed. It's a matter of relativity.
The idea that pain could be relative came crashing into my world last week and I simply must share the story with you.
I put on a pair of shoes I haven't worn in quite a while to go out the other night. A short while later I felt an old familiar "rub". Before I even had time to act, a blister formed and popped. I could barely walk until I got a band aide over that tender patch of skin.
As I was lamenting over the hole in my foot, waiting for the server to bring me some "supplies", I got to thinking. Pain really is relative--there are varying degrees of it. It's not like I had my foot run over by a train or something really horrible like that. I mean, come on, it was a blister for crying out loud. I could hear the words of wisdom from reachdown: "Suck it up, buttercup!" That's when it hit me--the reason the princess couldn't sleep was not that the pea hurt, but it caused a situation that she just wasn't used to.
I'm hoping that's what's been going on with my left calf. I'm hoping that the pain I've been feeling is just a "pea". I think if the princess was told she had to "suck it up" and just DEAL instead of being pampered and babied, she'd learn to sleep. Right? Isn't that how people learn to overcome whatever is standing between them and their goal?? They "suck it up" and DEAL.
Intestinal fortitude....it's just not something I was ever forced to have in my cushy, pampered life. I'm hoping that's one thing I'm learning from running. It's the reason I've been trying to stick with the program...even though I've altered the plan a bit. (After all, I'm still learning the difference between discomfort and injury....I should be able to deal with discomfort, such as a little blister, but at the same time, I don't want an injury to take me away from running for weeks (or for good).
So, I'm going to continue my efforts toward learning to sleep on a pea!!
By the way, you don't really believe that's a picture of MY blister, do you? Come on--that's obviously a man's foot. I can assure you, my pampered feet do NOT look like that...and I would never, not in a million years, be able to walk on that thing, much less run.
That picture, dear reader, is one of Eric Charette's foot after running 161.1 miles in four days (at the point this picture was taken). He then ran another 10.1 miles the next day to finish out the Alabama Pinhoti Trail Adventure Run (total time: 4 days, 5 hours, 39 minutes and 25 seconds). I'll post a picture of MY blister later in the week. I didn't want to spoil my great story of the relativity of pain with a picture of the pea!!