My mom and I went to get our nails done last night.
Like many women, I enjoy this stereotypical girl activity not only for the massage and pampering aspect of it but also for the pretty polish. However, like far fewer women out there, I have ulterior motives when it comes to that pretty polish – sure it’s a festive fashion statement but it also does a phenomenal job of covering up blackened toenails.
Yes, you read that right: blackened toenails. As a distance runner, I get these quite frequently. They’re generally a sign that I’ve been increasing mileage and sometimes indicate that I might need to size up in a particular shoe. I once drastically increased my mileage over a short time span in shoes that were just a touch too small and I walked – more like hobbled – away with two bruised toenails and five with blisters under the nail. Yes, I popped them – rubbing alcohol and a safety-pin are all ya need – and yes, three of those seven injured nails did eventually fall off.
Here’s the weird part, people: I liked it.
Call me a masochist, but that’s not the only disgusting and painful thing that I like about running. For instance: chafing? Ew. Ow. For the love of Pete, it burns! But… YES. Bring it on.
And sweating? Oh, yeah. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as a good sweat. Especially the fine crust of salt that forms as the sweat starts to dry. It’s like I just took a dip in the Dead Sea.
I don’t even need to get into the physical
pain pleasure that comes with running itself – sore muscles, labored breathing, blissful exhaustion – namely because I already have.
**Now is when you are supposed to scroll through all my earlier posts to find those previous mentions. Hey, I’m not above shameless self-promotion. Why else would I have a blog?**
So, why do I, along with the vast majority of runners out there, derive such pleasure from such pain?
There’s a very interesting scientific theory behind it that I largely agree with but, for me personally, there is a much simpler explanation.
Feeling running-related pain in all its various manifestations makes me feel like a bad-a**. It makes me feel tough. It makes me feel strong. It makes me feel like I’m capable of heroic feats. It makes me feel like Beatrix Kiddo.
I realize that I’m not superhuman and pain/injury might occasionally get me down. But don’t EVER count me out.
I’ll just put polish on those bruised nails and revel that it hurts so good. 🙂
What makes you “hurt so good?”
Do you wear exercise related injuries like badges of honor?