Today was the last day of week six in my twelve week program. Heavy push day. Five exercises all targeting the same three muscle groups: chest, delts, and triceps. My right shoulder was bugging me more than usual during my dynamic stretching; a source of great concern for me. It’s never been quite the same since separating it playing hockey. Whether or not it’s simply mental at this point, I struggle to keep my arm in line during presses, often drifting forward on me. However today the early stiffness had no effect on my lifts, pushing personal bests on four out of five exercises. This fun but exhausting day brought to mind the age old saying; no pain, no gain. There’s no place for this ideal among natural lifters. Pain means ease up, plain and simple. Yet pain is a subjective term and I think I sometimes qualify discomfort as pain. Being uncomfortable is the name of the game; making yourself achieve something you weren’t previously capable of. I lose sight of this at times and let minor ailments get in my head. Today proves to me that I can perform even when not at my own perceived “100%”. Going forward I’m going to do my best to distinguish between pain and discomfort, knowing when to hold off and when to push through. Maybe I’ll surprise myself again in the process.

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