Push Through the Pain

“Ok...ok,” I panted as I did my last set of lunges.

“Come on! Don’t give up now,” my trainer said sternly.

I let out a loud sigh as I stood up and threw my arms over my head. “My legs hurt too much…” I complained.

“No pain, no gain. Come on!” he said as he clapped his hands together.

I gave him my evil eye and knew I had no option but to finish the workout if I planned to go home anytime soon.

“Ahhhhh!!!” I screamed as I got back down for the last few lunges. “Here we go…”

“You’re almost there! Just push through the pain,” he encouraged me.

Isn’t it funny how we tend to want to give up during the moments when we are so close to achieving our goal? Oftentimes, we don’t even know how close we are because we are so focused on the pain we are dealing with to get there. Every time I wanted to quit my workouts, I was only one set away from finishing. The closer I got to the end, the more intense I felt the pressure of the pain in my body.

Life is no different. To achieve any dream, you’ve got to be willing to sacrifice some things and push through some pain. The beginning may seem like flowers and sunshine, but once you’ve moved past the easy stuff, you start to confront the reality of what the dream will cost you. It’s like going shopping for a new dress or suit at Nordstrom. You pick up the piece that caught your eye the moment you walked in! You even look for the closest mirror to see what it looks like up against your body. But after falling in love with it, you look at the price tag, and, hmmm...Now the question becomes, “Do I really want it that badly or can I compromise for something cheaper at Forever 21?” If you’re willing to make the investment for something better in quality, you’ll have one item in your closet that will last you years instead of 10 items that will last you a few wash cycles.

Greatness always has a higher price tag attached to it; there is no easy way to achieve it. If you talk to people you admire who are the epitome of your definition of success, you’ll find that they’ve had to pay a price. That may include losing or letting go of relationships, wiping out a bank account, turning down job opportunities, being ridiculed or bullied, facing rejection, or feeling unworthy. Some have endured abuse and shame to tell their story. Others have been beaten down for defending their truth. But despite the heartache, brokenness, and sacrifice they’ve had to endure, they tell their stories with a conviction that their pain has paved the way for others to have hope for their dreams. All growth requires a level of pain, but it’s the pain that builds us to be stronger, wiser, and better.

Whatever you’re trying to achieve, are you willing to push through the pain to get there?