Since I was a teenager I’ve been a huge fan of Henry Rollins. A musician, author, actor, story teller. It was his music that first caught my attention growing up. A wild man fueled by rage and anger filling intensity into his songs. As the years passed I became more a fan of his writing and spoken word. A few years back I read his often quoted “The Iron”….the passage “PAIN IS NOT MY ENEMY, IT IS MY CALL TO GREATNESS” hit me hard.

“I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness.”

Rollins later goes onto write:

“Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it’s some kind of miracle if you’re not insane. People have become separated from their bodies. They are no longer whole.

I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron Mind.

Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.”

Beautiful…I couldn’t shake those words PAIN IS NOT MY ENEMY (PINME), so simple yet so empowering. This quote went on our first shirts, spray painted in the old gym…then blown up enormously in the new gym (see above). I see those words literally every single day of my life. However, sometimes they lose their meaning, like passing a painting or sculpture you see everyday. How often do you really take 5 minutes…think…appreciate that beauty. I read an article from Gym Jones this morning, where Mark Twight (owner of Gym Jones) was discussing his friend Rob MacDonald (GM of Gym Jones)

“he (Rob) loves the hurt and he loves TO hurt. He flashes brightly. And he has done it over and over often enough and for long enough that he too is forever changed by effort.”

“LOVES THE HURT” – that phrase brought me back to PINME. What if we all could not fear the pain, the hurt…but love to hurt?

PAIN IS NOT MY ENEMY –  Stress, anxiety, unknown…all products of FEAR. Fear of the pain, fear of the hurt. In this specific context we’re talking about workouts, but more importantly it applies to life. What if the pain was your friend? What if pain wasn’t your enemy?

Learn to love the pain. Smile and enjoy the ride. Don’t be afraid to go those places where it’s going to hurt, relish the opportunity that you have the ability. Every time it starts to hurt and we keep going, we push that boundary, we increase our threshold, we grow.


Look forward to the pain…your new friend.


That’s where the real lesson are taught.

“I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain.”

You get to make the decision on how to react when the pain starts. The eyes never lie…do they show hurt, panic? Or do they show confidence, anger, intensity?

It’s just pain after all. This is what it’s supposed to feel like, it’s not your enemy, this where greatness comes from.

It ain’t f@cking easy. We all feel the pain, some make friends with it, some make enemies with it.

Which will you choose?





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