Should We Be Suffering for Our Sport?

Should We Be Suffering for Our Sport?

Kindly contributed by Ashley de Lotz
What's everyone's obsession with "embracing the pain"and "suffering" in endurance sport? Yes it's often not comfortable and we go to some dark places in training/ racing, but it's not really painful unless you're carrying an injury or have developed a saddle sore etc.

Ash brew


I think it's more like eating spicy food; it burns a bit, but it's a sweet discomfort that's enjoyable in a weird way. Plus, you often feel the effects more the day after than at the time with both spicy foods and big sessions... For context I'm writing this sofa bound, after running down a mountain Sunday, which was fine at the time, but my legs don't work now!

Wiped out

If Tokyo 2020 has shown us anything it's that mental health is mega important for performance. It probably isn't doing us any favours in terms of health and performance to frame our hobby/ job (depending on who you are) as a form of torture or sufferance.

So if it's not about being mentally tough and suffering, then what is it all about? What if we focused on simply being happy and enjoying ourselves? After all the saying goes "you catch more flies with honey than salt". 

Ash run

Why not start a race or training session with a smile on your face and with good vibes, as anger will quickly fizzle out and often leads to poor technique and mistakes. If you look at free sports such as surfing or BMX etc. they're still mega competitive but it's all about the good vibes and sharing that positive energy to push each other on. 

Ash on turbo

It sounds weird but I try to be like the Asian girl from Rush Hour singing Mariah Carey 🤣(go check it here on YouTube it if you haven't seen it). As she's clearly amped and living her best life!

So with race season in full swing, just smile and remember to have fun as at the end of the day the fastest athletes are often the ones having the most fun.

Ash with Spoke


Nice one Ash. If anyone was capable of smiling and winning, you'd be that man!

You can follow Ashley on his Instagram page here:

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