Comfortable Discomfort
Start writing a post

Comfortable Discomfort

A theory of rowing.

Comfortable Discomfort
Julianna Pereira Rowing -- Erging

When we experience pain, our brains tell us to stop, seek help, and back off. In rowing, everything after the first two minutes is rough. Because it uses so many muscles and quickly takes a toll on the lungs, rowing is uniquely able to bring about discomfort in a very short period of time. It has taken me awhile to realize that after those first two minutes of easy effort, I need to be comfortable with my discomfort. The brain is an athlete’s greatest ally and greatest enemy. Olympians train not just their bodies, but also their minds to reach peak performance.

Being able to mute the brain’s pain controls is vital to rowing. Every time I get on an erg or in the boat, I know it will result in some level of discomfort. How well I manage this discomfort directly correlates to how well I perform. It is not enough to say, “Today, I will be in pain.” Instead, I need to say, “I am ok with this pain, it is making me stronger.” The first step I took to reach this point was to let go of my fear of failure, and instead motivate myself by success and the support of my teammates. Fear is not enough. It can get you far, but, in the end, it is mentally and emotionally draining. Secondly, I have embraced the erg as a tool for my success. I do not like erging, but I accept it and recognize its use. The numbers on the screen do not define me, but they can motivate me to get where I want.

Rowing is addicting. All the hours of erging in the winter are worth it to be in a boat come spring. But, it’s really hard to stay motivated for over four months where I’m alone with an erg for a large part of the time. Establishing a pattern of erging every day or every other day without stressing out over the numbers has made me stronger mentally and physically. I have learned to be comfortable with my discomfort.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments