#462 Pain

It’s there for a reason.

Whether you’re shredding your legs on a raspberry bush, scalding your hand in hot water, or taking an arrow to the chest in the forest, I got bad news for you, brother: that’s gonna hurt. Yes, when our bodies take blows those powerful jolts make us cry salty tears, run for the hills, or crashland in hospital beds with limbs hanging everywhere.

But that pain really is there for three big reasons:

1. Stop! … Bandaid time. The first thing pain does is make you stop doing that painful thing you’re doing. Your brain focuses every neuron on getting you out of Danger Bay and returning you to Safety Beach. Stop! You’re lawnmowing your foot. Stop! You’re leaning on an oven burner. Stop! You’re dancing in much too baggy pants.

2. Long Live the Cast. Pain reminds us to take care of injured body parts so they can heal. We lean on crutches so our ankles can untwist, plaster broken arms so bones can set, and bandage cuts to prevent infections. Throbbing migraines send us to dark rooms and bum knees get us limping because that’s we need, sister. Pain’s just whispering advice to send us down the road to good health.

3. Fool me twice, shame on me. Pain’s whole plan is to get us to stop doing painful things long term. Think of pain as cranky granny shaking it’s finger when you sheepishly come schlepping up the front walk battered and bruised. “No more running through raspberry bushes, mister,” she starts. “No more checking hot water with your fingers. And stop playing medieval battle games in the forest.”

Now, if all that wasn’t enough, our egghead pals over at Wikipedia even report that people who don’t feel pain actually live shorter lives. Maybe that’s because pain’s just there to do a job for us. It motivates us to flee hurtin’ scenes, protects our body while it heals, and teaches us to avoid painful places in the future.

Pain’s our invisible Life Coach, sewn in to our bones, twisted in our DNA, and helping us all keep strong as we keep motoring on.


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— Email message —

“Yesterday I got home after having dinner out with my husband and baby boy (he’s almost 2 years old). When I laid my bag on the dining table I looked and saw two pieces of paper laying there. When I looked closer I realized it was 2 xerox copies… One of them had a little hand and the other one a small foot. I scratched my head and thought “what the heck is this?” Then I thought “maybe my son went out with his babysitter and she took these Xerox just for fun”… And it really was like this. The next morning my baby son was walking around the house with the 2 xerox in his hands and saying “my hand… my foot”. Adorable. My little awesome thing.” – Andreia from Portugal

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

53 thoughts on “#462 Pain

    1. I definitely agree, laughed so hard at the baggy pants (which is fo’sho painful for the people watching at least :D)

  1. That’s one big-footed two year old. Gonna be tall.

    I have the craziest knack for finding extraordinary ways to stub my toe (on the right foot only) and cutting my fingers. It’s a talent of mine. My mother has long ago decided that my life, and subsequently hers, would be fuller had she removed my hands and feet at birth. I’m actually trying to type with band-aids right now.

    So, here’s to pain; who without, I would have managed to kill myself a long time ago.

  2. Yup, because of pain, I learned to suck up my laziness and turn the lights on in any pitch black room I walk in… My feet just couldn’t take it anymore. (:

    And awwhhh I love baby feet/hands!! :)

  3. If the people had to concentrate more on their goals the way they do to their injuries, everybody would be succesful in this world…Wow!…I like this.

  4. Pain…. physical, emotional, or mental pain..yes….
    Yeah, Lol…I was in a lot of pain when I had my daughter, but that didn’t stop me. I guess I will never learn. hahaha.

    I have honestly never had a broken bone in my body, EVER! My mom had 6 kids and none of us ever broke any bones, except the last one. He broke his collar bone from falling out of a tree. Yes, we played hard. We fell out of trees, down hills, got hit with metal baseball bats (that’s how I got my first black eye), ramped our bikes on unreasonable ramps, stepped on nails, bees, glass, got into horrible fights….. but we never broke anything. My youngest brother had to break the streak.

    1. Got burned, bit by dogs, got cut, fell of roofs, got shocked, oh the list goes on. I was even in 2 horrible car wrecks where I totaled both my cars, and still haven’t broken anything (knock on wood), my older brothers got in wrecks too. One even flipped his car a few times, and came out without a broken bone.
      We’ve had our hearts broken, lost people that are close to us, hurt the ones we love and got hurt right back, cried many tears… yes pain plays a big part in everyone’s life.

    2. My sister and I have never broken any bones, either! Plenty of banged up knees and elbows, busted lips, bruises, burns, sprains, and lacerations … but no broken bones.

  5. Ugh, I have the worst toothache ever right now. I think I got a little too passionate with the all-you-can-eat wings last night and did a little bit of damage…

    Oh well, now I have a reason to embrace it, right?



  6. Clearly the person who wrote today’s Awesome Thing has never been in *chronic* pain. Fleeting dang-that-hurt pain is one thing … but chronic, day-to-day, ‘wake up with it and go to sleep with it’ pain is quite another … and it ain’t awesome. Not one bit.

    1. I don’t think this was meant to insinuate that something like fibromyalgia or any other type of chronic pain is awesome. My old boss has that, and I’m aware: it is definitely not awesome. It’s more talking about the concept of cause-and-effect pain; the pain that, as mentioned, keeps us from doing that painful thing again.

      1. Yeah – that’s where the expression “Too much of a good thing” came from. As I get older, pain stops warning me and just reminds me of the aging process.

        It has its uses, but enough already!!!

  7. Now here’s one I appreciate. I love the whimsical interjection of MC Hammer pants. And “our egghead pals over at Wikipedia”. LOL!

    1. I just headed over to Wiki to read all about kidney stones to see if I could find something awesome about them…

      …instead I left feeling slightly nauseated and frightened that I will one day experience this ailment.

      My condolences to anyone who has dealt with this.. Ugh.

  8. I always wanted to break my arm when I was little so I could get a cast that my friends could sign and it would get me out of doing dishes

  9. I think it’s great to look at something like pain as an awesome thing, because you’re right. If we didn’t feel pain when we cut ourselves, we could end up causing so much more damage. Also, love the continued reference to arrows in the forest. Definitely something I need to keep in the back of my mind.

  10. Rule of Life #3: Nobody except you thinks your kids are cute, so keep your stupid stories to yourself.

  11. “taking an arrow to the chest in the forest”

    Anyone else think of Monty Python’s Holy Grail when they read that? “Message for you, sir!”

    Ahh, anyway, I once saw a special on TLC about a girl who couldn’t feel pain. She wasn’t allowed to play in gym or out at recess because she never knew if she was working herself too hard and if it could lead to a serious injury.

    1. There was even an episode of House about a girl who couldn’t feel pain. Haha … less legit than the TLC special, but interesting nonetheless.

    2. The victim was fighting with his friend in the forest, and was shot with an arrow through the chest.

      It looks like he finally…

      *puts on sunglasses*

      …got the point.


  12. Not sure I agree with this one at all. Just had the worst tooth pain ever….and it was NOT awesome. Also I’m sure people with cronic pain, cancer, etc wouldn’t agree either. Just sayin.

  13. As usual, your posts are always right on topic for where I am in life. Just last night I fell and busted up my knee :( which hurts a lot. But now I’ll think twice before jumping out of a car at night to chase after someone in high heels.
    Maybe :)

  14. I’ve been reading this in between customers at work for the past couple of weeks…started at the very beginning or end however you want to look at it!! And now I’m all caught up…Can’t wait for more of the awsomeness to come!! Keep it up, it gives me something to smile about!!!

  15. And it’s SO satisfying knowing that you’ve lived through pain, from a stomach ache to the most excruciating. It’s also fascinating realizing the limits of your body and how strong it is and how much it can handle. Our bodies are very resistant and they put up the most excellent fight against anything. Great post!

  16. I’m going to have to side with those who think that pain isn’t quite as awesome as this post claims. I did agree with #804 Gym pain, but this seems just a little off to me.

    1. It also makes you really enjoy those times when you’re fully and completely pain-free. Ahh, to be well! Never quite as appreciated as when you’re recovering from some kind of injury or sickness.

  17. Pain is also great for making tough-guy T-shirt slogans like: “Pain is just weakness leaving the body”

    Unfortunately, the far-more-true statement of “Pain is my signal that working out at the gym is too hard and I should go home and play more video games and eat a burrito” just doesn’t look as good on a T-shirt..

  18. Nah pain is not at all awesome. Especially since my back hurts right now, this post is not making me feel good. :(

  19. I saw this one and at first thought, “Is he masochistic?”, but then I read your reasons and understood better. I think. Maybe it would be better tho to say that our bodies are awesome in the way they work and the many mechanisms they have, such as this. But the pain itself??? hmmm…

  20. An awesome thing I encountered at 7/11 on Sunday when I was getting my free Slurpees:


    pure relief, right there


  21. If the realization that pain is a signal to stop what
    you’re doing and that, yes, you can create a reservoir in a mound of mashed potatoes for your gravy are
    awesome revelations……….then heaven help us all.
    Of course judging from the spelling and grammar in most of the responses, the bar is set very low these days.

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