Pushing Past the Pain of Exertion

By Sarah Bowen Shea, The New York Times
Originally Published: October 29, 2009

LAST November, Kara Goucher ran the ING New York City Marathon, her first 26.2-mile race. Even though she was an Olympian who had placed 10th in the 10,000 meter race in 2008 in Beijing — running the equivalent of 6.2 miles — she felt fear.

“I was really scared I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain for that long,” said Ms. Goucher, 31, who had never run more than 18 miles at a time before training for the marathon. “Now I was asking myself to run eight miles farther, a lot faster. It was daunting.”.. Click here to read on

The pain game: How athletes deal with injuries

By Jesse Campigotto, CBC Sports
Originally Published: December 1, 2010

Three of Canada’s best Olympic athletes – Christine Nesbitt, Heather Moyse and Kelly VanderBeek – suffered major injuries recently. One has returned to competition, one is almost back, and the other still has a ways to go. These are their stories. Click here to read on

Yzerman was ‘fierce competitor’

By Pierre LeBrun, ESPN.com
Originally Published: November 5, 2009

The scene was Joe Louis Arena during the pregame warm-up before Game 2 of the 2002 first-round playoff series between the Detroit Red Wings and Vancouver Canucks.

Steve Yzerman could barely stand the pain in his right knee, which at that point was being held together by smoke and mirrors. He had gutted it out through the Olympics a few months earlier and was determined to battle through it again for the NHL playoffs… Click here to read on

Pain? Yes, of course. Racing without pain is not racing. But the pleasure of being ahead outweighed the pain a million times over. To hell with the pain. What’s six minutes of pain compared to the pain they’re going to feel for the next six months or six decades. You never forget your wins and losses in this sport. YOU NEVER FORGET.

~ Brad Alan Lewis

Without cancer, I never would have won a single Tour de France. Cancer taught me to plan for more purposeful living, and that in turn taught me how to train and to win more purposeful. It taught me that pain has a reason, and that sometimes the experience of losing things – whether health or a car or an old sense of self – has its own value in the scheme of life. Pain and loss are great enhancers.

~ Lance Armstrong

A rower’s motto: I race therefore I am

Posted by Adam Kreek on 20 May 2008

Why I race…

I love going into schools and giving talks. I focus on my passion for sport, my respect for our fragile global environment, lessons I have learned, setting goals and the importance of proper nutrition.

I remember one time I was in front of a group of kids describing a race:

“The pain experienced while rowing is similar to middle distance running, biking really hard or speed skating. Your legs burn and scream for oxygen, while your lungs wheeze with your heart struggling to transport renewed blood to the complaining body parts. Suffering is the best word to describe how I feel in a race. The after-effects of competition are exhausting. My body aches and I have depressed energy and drive for weeks after the event.”

The innocent, truthful voice of a grade four pupil challenged me: “Then why do you do it?” Continue reading