The Presence of Pain

Pain is one of those things in life that makes its way around to everyone at some point in time. Though it is not exclusive in its presence, it is not by any means a thing of equity. The ability to feel someone else's pain on a level beyond empathy would be greater than finding gold. It would strengthen our relationships, and give way to a kinder, more gracious society. 

It does not take much to recognize that there are generally two types of people in the world. Those who get a heavy dose of the pain prescription and those who seem to breeze through life. It is important to acknowledge, though, that all pain is valid at whatever age and for whatever reason; everyone is different. This recognizes that pain comes in many forms. Though they show up differently in each of our lives, and present themselves with different guises, physical, emotional, and mental pain each bring their own burden. As an athlete of twelve years now I have had my share, and maybe some of yours, worth of pain. It is no secret that we all experience but there is a uniqueness to the pain of anyone who puts their body under high physical, emotional, and mental stress on a regular basis in pursuit of some goal. 

I grew up in sports and was always an active kid. I guess you could even say I was a bit of a rough-houser, as I always came away with aches and bruises to show for it. I always compared this with my sister who, though less, also did sports and never seemed to get hurt; unless it was because I hurt her (which I did, concussing her once in her senior year on the cheer team). To help this along, I will outline the sports I played and my injuries in comparison to my sister's combined four years of track and cheerleader. In this order I have participated in at least a year of  soccer, basketball, gymnastics, cheerleading, track, and softball. The one that has persisted for the past nine years is cheerleading. Of my many concussions, boots, braces, and days with the trainer and even post surgery, I have come to realize that my pain is my own.

That the hard days of practice and recovering post injury are personal to me, and though are relatable to others, no one pain is the same. That comparing my discomfort and struggle to that of my sister, teammates, or anyone I meet, sets me up for failure when it comes to addressing the needs of my body and intentionally caring for the pain of others.