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There’s a time for comfort, but it’s not when I’m working out. So long as I don’t risk injuring myself, I don’t mind straining and struggling. A workout is not rewarding to me otherwise, so I welcome discomfort when training.

Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the inflammation of the muscles you feel for a couple of days following an intense workout. What your body is doing is repairing muscle fibers that you tore, and that’s what you want it to do. Some people experience DOMS as pain, but I experience it as pleasure. Some people hate it, but I love it. To me, it feels good to be strong, and DOMS lets me know I’m becoming stronger and more resilient.

It’s not that a workout shouldn’t be fun, because it can be at times. And you can hit a comfortable stride sometimes as well. But remember that it’s called a “workout,” not a “fun-out,” and I hope you embrace DOMS because it affirms that your workout involved some actual work.

On the other hand, if you rarely feel DOMS, you might want to push yourself a little harder when you train. Life in modern, advanced societies affords you plenty of opportunities to be comfortable and risk nothing. I submit to you that your workout is an opportunity to challenge yourself. The physical stress is only one aspect; the true challenge is mental. It’s you against you.

Sayonara until next time.

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