Posted by: forgingahead | January 17, 2009

My New Mantra

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

No, I didn’t join The Marines. Though according to the Urban Dictionary entry this little ditty originated with their marketing folks.

I’m going to go sideways here for a minute because it just dawned on me that the military have marketing teams. They must, right? I mean, they run ads and market to attract customers (of sorts).

Imagine this meeting…

Marketer 1: We need a new slogan.

Marketer 2: Well, market research shows that people are afraid to join The Marines because they’re afraid of the hard physical work.

Marketer 1: Then we just need to reposition pain as a good thing!

And a new slogan is born.

The urban dictionary folks had fun with the definition:

The more pain a Marine endures, the stronger he becomes.

If a Marine feels pain after working out, it means he had a good workout and physical weakness is leaving his body.
protester: “ouch my lungs hurt from smoking pot, and my arms hurt from holding this protest sign.”

Marine: “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

See, now that made me giggle.

Anyway, my point is that the other day I asked how to get faster on my bike and folks pretty unanimously said, “push yourself you lazy sack.” Ok, they said it more nicely than that but you get my drift.

So today Bert and I did the same 34 mile loop we did the other day and this time I thought of Sarah who reminded me of the saying “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

So I said it. Out loud. Loudly. Over and over. While grinding up a hill in a harder gear and a faster cadence than ever before.

So there. I have a mantra. I’m sure the Marines won’t mind if I borrow theirs.


  1. And was the ride fun? Don’t make everything painful all the time though – then you won’t enjoy it 🙂

  2. I agree with Charisa…can’t make it hurt *all* the time, but the next time you tackle that hill it will be just a little easier I am sure. Keep at it. You will see results!

  3. I’m just so impressed. Maybe if I read you regularly, I’ll get physically fit through you. It is worth a try.

  4. I’m always so inspired by your posts about exercise: swim, bike and run…. You are amazing!

    The only time I pushed myself was training for and completing the Seattle Danskin Tri in 2007. I’m hoping I can get my butt in gear this season and go for the Danskin Tri this summer.

    I’ll think about that mantra; very true.

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