Playing Hurt: Nothing Matters as much as Mindset

In my last blog, I mentioned I’d re-read Steven Pressfield’s ‘The War of Art.’ It’s a great book and it’s teeny tiny, so brilliant for people like me with matching attention spans!

Anyhow, I really wanted to share a quote that resonated with me:

“The athlete knows the day will never come when he wakes up pain-free. He has to play hurt.”

Sometimes, I just really need to hear this. Sometimes, I need to live by it, literally and metaphorically.

I need this quote at Jiu Jitsu, when my brain is saying, “I’m tired. But my back hurts. I shouldn’t have eaten crap food yesterday – I’ll be rubbish tonight! I’m too old for this shit.”

sad dog

I need it when I’m feeling overwhelmed with work, when I’m not in the mood and I feel like procrastinating/eating my feelings/starting an argument instead.

Time and time again, I’ve proven to myself that none of this matters.

Some of my best, most enjoyable jiu jitsu sessions have been when I’m physically, mentally and emotionally at my worst. Some of my fastest runs have followed a night of self-indulgence when I was sure I’d have to give up half way. And some of the most creative work that I’ve produced has come despite me completely being in my own way.

Nothing matters as much as my mindset.

And the same applies everywhere else – to the social gathering I’m talking myself out of, the night out that I’m dreading, the phone call I’m putting off…

I’m writing this now and racing off to a jiu jitsu sesh. I went to judo last night – and yes, my back hurts. My knee too. But it doesn’t matter.

There’ll never be a time when I’m 100% ready…

So I’ll just have to go along now.  And I’ve no doubt that I’ll come back grinning from ear to ear, just as I always do.

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