The Pain of Life

Rachel - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I awoke this morning to a slight pulsing of my left big toe; think of the car next to you at the stoplight whose bass is way too loud and you feel the vibration sitting 20 feet away, that nagging feeling. The pulsing is the result of my clumsiness after dropping my skate–blade down– onto it yesterday. I threw my covers off and swung my legs up into the air while still laying down so I could see my toe; looks normal, I thought, it’s fine. I whipped my legs off the bed and stood up, walking groggily into my bathroom, all the way my left ankle clicking followed by sharp pains. I plop myself down atop my bathroom sink to roll my ankle to try to pop it. But what happens instead, it an unexpected noise that can only be described as absolutely disgusting; as though two rocks are being clanged against one another, yet I ignore it and continue on. When I head back to my room to retrieve my phone off the ground, I squat down to pick it up, as I bend my knees my right one pops making me drop slightly faster than expected, but I squat down to get it; because I can’t simply bend down and grab it without tears rushing to my eyes from my lower back pain. You learn to adjust.

Pain is an indescribable sensation. Nevertheless, we, being the stubborn beings that we are, try to describe it anyways. As our brain goes on what seems to be a wild-goose chase, we fill our language with adjectives, metaphors, and similes in attempt to make just one other person understand what we feel.

My mom has always told me to “just suck it up” whatever the injury is. I admit now, it is probably the best piece of advice she could’ve given me, though during the moment when the pain is sinking in and she utters those words from her lips, nothing could possible annoy me more. Regardless, these continue to be the guiding words of my existence. As a figure skater, slamming your body down onto a frozen solid substance continuously is part of the package. Olympic figure skater, Alexei Yagudin once noted: “If a skater wakes up in the morning and feels no pain, they know they must be dead.” It’s a rare moment that some part of my body isn’t in a moderate amount of pain. But, for every injury I get, there’s always that one day I wake up and realize maybe, my back doesn’t hurt anymore I get this overwhelming joy and perhaps as soon as I stand up I realize that my knee is now hindering my movement, but it’s okay, because one day it too will heal. Being in pain often makes me appreciate my health in ways that many take it for granted. Without pain, I wouldn’t know how to enjoy being pain-free.

This I believe that pain makes life treasured.