The Ability to Suffer – Go Deeper

By Grant Giles

The following is a summary of an article and podcast by Grant Giles ex junior surfer & pro triathlete for 10 years. The full article & podcast can be found here.

There are many talented triathletes out there, who never quite reach their full potential. Similarly there are many triathletes who seemingly “exceed” their potential despite potentially obvious short comings. Grant Giles believes that “the only thing that can really overcome physical talent, is the ability to hurt, suffer, or endure pain.”

The concept of pain is quite interesting and often individual. Often the simply acknowledgement of pain within yourself can be enough for the pain to appear to increase beyond what is tolerable. Grant says “the way we judge our pain actually does more damage than the physical pain itself. The pain alone is always neutral; it is as it is. The second the mind comes in to resist that pain, the physical messages that the body receives are amplified.” In short, pain is simply information, it is you that labels this pain as “bad”.

Constantly as coaches we ask our athletes to endure pain or “suffer” in training and races. We are not asking you to physically respond to this pain but “the refusal to judge pain. It is pure acceptance and non-resistance to what is happening in this moment.”

Grant suggests:

  • Learn to allow the pain circulate through your body
  • Do not judge pain & allow it to be neutral
  • “The more personal you make a moment, the more painful it will become”

Given the psychological applications required to “deal” with pain, if you would like further information please consider booking an appointment with our partnered sport psychologist Dane Barclay by clicking here.

Check out other blogs by Dane Barclay Self Compassion to Improve Performance; Getting Comfortable with Your Discomfort