No Pain – No Gain by Sherry Petro-Surdel
e have had a few generations of young athletes that have adopted the phrase No pain, No gain as their creed. Some of the questions that enter my mind when I think of this phrase are: 1. Where did the slogan originate? 2. How balanced and accurate is this statement? 3. What are the exceptions, if any? 4. What does this concept mean to you personally, spiritually, physically, relationally? The first time the phrase No pain, No gain had any impact on my life was with my son Clint, when at the age of 13 he decided he was going to be a professional soccer player. His life became goal driven. To attain his dream, his exercise habits, eating patterns, entertainment, the people he chose to be with all revolved around his goal of becoming a professional soccer goalie. Clint was aware that he did not have the physical size most coaches looked for in a goalie. Soccer goalies most often are tall in stature for better net coverage and they typically have large hands. Clint did not meet those physical characteristics, but what he lacked in the physical, he made up with effort, commitment and focus. The walls of Clint’s bedroom had large posters of his favorite soccer stars. He had the following slogans in big letters over his bed: NO GUTS – NO GLORY, NO BRAINS – NO GAIN, NO
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PAIN NO GAIN. As his mom, I really didn’t like these slogans as I was not so sure pain was the answer and I certainly did not want to see pain inflicted on my son. Most of us associate No pain, No gain with physical exercise, athletes, competition and/or staying in shape. The true origin of the text came in the second century in a Jewish text, The Ethics of Our Fathers. It is probably more accurately translated to The pain is in the gain. In 1734 Benjamin Franklin wrote in an essay titled The Way to Wealth. “There is no gain without pain”. In his printing of Poor Richard’s Almanac, he said: “God helps those who help themselves, there is no gain without pain.” It is clear to me that the phrase No pain, No gain was created about our spiritual unfolding and the events of life. Dr. Carl Jung said: “There is no coming into consciousness without pain.” There are prices to pay to be fully invested in anything whether it be a relationship, a dream, a healthy body, a family, a job, your spiritual path. There is a price or a pain when committing to a long term relationship as relationships are not always pure bliss and ease. The path to enlightenment does not come without pain. If we replace the word
pain with effort, we are putting things in context of the physical or mental energy towards accomplishments. Without effort and commitment, no relationship can sustain itself. Without effort and commitment, no physical condition of the muscles can sustain strength. Without effort and commitment, no organization with dreams and visions, to make the world a better place, can sustain those dreams long enough to make the permanent, sustainable change needed to create a better world for all generations. It takes courage to consistently demonstrate effort, commitment and focus. It takes those who have the unstoppable, dauntless nature to accept the pain, to experience the gain. There are some who will say fear is what stops them from achieving their dreams. Trust that the fear is almost always more painful than the thing you fear. Faith is the gain that comes from facing a fear. Here is a formula I use for No pain, No gain: Pain is just fear in disguise. Gain is the faith that is always available. My son Clint played professional soccer for two years. He is an example of our ability to turn our dreams into reality. Sherry Petro-Surdel, Author | Pastor | Public Speaker | Life Coach A Voice of Reason. Enriched. Enlightened. Empowered. For more information: AVoiceofReason.net or Spirit-Space.org. See ad, page 34.