Trade Comfort for Pain (ft. Hanma Baki)
The ability to take pain is something that is slowly disappearing in the modern world. That's not to say that people don't experience pain, but just that, in many ways, the "art of taking pain" has become a thing of the past. Each generation spends increasingly more time in comfortable conditions and people are protected from injury and physical harm (which is a good thing).
However, at its core, the world is still a violent, nasty, and brutish place. It's not going to stop presenting you with challenges and there is certainly no way to stop pain from ever affecting you, no matter how much you pull away from the world or shelter your loved ones out of a sense of love and a desire to protect them. Let's pause that thought for just a moment-- I promise we'll come back to it.
Throughout the various manga series of Grappler Baki, Hanma Baki is subjected (by himself or others) to immense amounts of pain. Whether it's being pummeled with fists by men three times his size or from doing an infinite number of squats after running 30 km with his very heavy dog on his back (Musashi gets tired, okay?), Baki knows what it's like to feel deep, burning, stinging, throbbing, [insert adjective here] pain. That's not to mention the sheer amount of mental trauma that boy has seen-- pain is like Baki's close friend. He knows it. He understands it. And it has made him capable of interacting with the rest of the world in ways that normal people cannot fathom.
Apart from Baki's immense physical ability that puts him in a completely differently league than the vast majority of human beings on the planet, all of his trials have given him a sense of peace. He fully acknowledges that pain is a part of life and when problems present themselves in front of him, he greets them just like anything in his day. It's just another thing. He doesn't really worry about it. An example of his training is the following workout (and as shown in the video above):
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Baki’s “Iron Will” Workout
Go as far as you can, following this same pattern:
- 5 Handstand Push-ups
- 25 Hindu Squats
- Run 400 Meters
- 10 Handstand Push-ups
- 50 Hindu Squats
- Run 800 Meters
- 15 Handstand Push-ups
- 75 Hindu Squats
- Run 1200 Meters
- 20 Handstand Push-ups
- 100 Hindu Squats
- Run 1600 Meters
This is a very difficult workout and can break even the most in-shape people. That's what it's designed to do. I understand if you're hesitant to attempt something like this, so if you're new to fitness, give these a try.
Anxiety disorders and depression are rampant in modern civilization and, while I'm not an expert, I have a theory on why that is increasingly the case. Instead of being confronted with actual painful situations in which we have to labor and push through, we are given various things to worry about in our "busy lives." We don't, in general, know what it's like to take and work through physical discomfort (and pain) and the emotional discomfort that comes along with that, because there's always another way that we can handle our daily lives without having to experience those things.
Eventually, though, there will come a time where we literally cannot escape physical discomfort or the threat of physical harm and, if we have not built up our ability to take pain over time, we will almost certainly be unprepared for what comes next, whether that's a small thing like being unable to help a friend move due to a lack of strength or because you need to sit down every 15 minutes or if it's a big thing like being injured in an accident and having to push through pain in order to save your own life or the lives of those you love.
If you've run from discomfort and pain all your life, it may be that you find yourself in a place where you are even unable to do simple things like feed yourself of get out of bed. Comfort can very easily become your enemy. The more you sit in comfort, the smaller your bubble of comfort becomes and the more things become uncomfortable, until just basic activities to keep yourself alive feel painful. I've seen people live like this. It's sad and it's heart-breaking to watch.
But there is hope!
You can change. You can become stronger. You can meet challenges head on and increase your strength and your ability to take pain little by little, until you are literally doing things that you never thought possible.
Now for the disclaimer.
Sometimes, no matter how much you prepare or train or take pain, things come along that just completely wreck you. It can't be helped. You're only human. But that doesn't mean that we can't make that pool of "things that wreck us" so infinitesimally limited that we may as well be the Juggernaut. So, decide today to push a little more. Make today the day. Shake off your comfort and learn to become comfortable being uncomfortable. Changing this mindset will do amazing things for your life, I promise.
That's all for today, guys! Until next time, good luck and train hard!