Pain Face

Going To The Dark Place  dsc_0169

The Dark Place.
Where you feel searing pain.
Where doubts fill your mind.
Where you want to give up.
Where your knees buckle.
Where your lungs bleed.
Where you can’t breath.
Where you want to cry.

I haven’t experienced the dark place very often as an athlete. It’s scary, it hurts, and it pushes you to your mental, emotional, and physical limits.

The workout was twelve 0.5K sprints on the assault bike. It seemed harmless. My plan was to go outside and do the workout alone, in solitude. I just wanted to ‘get it over with.’

To my surprise, my teammates followed me outside, dragging the other two bikes with them. I watched them push the intensity right out of the gate. I also started to push the watts higher on the following rounds. We were all in this together now.

After round six, we all instantly dropped to the ground after a grueling forty-ish second sprint.


I was there. I was in the dark place. The searing pain and discomfort was unimaginable. My body was screaming at me. I was holding back tears as I pushed through the last six rounds.

The presence of my coach and teammates elevated my intensity. I couldn’t quit. I couldn’t disappoint them or myself.

We can all go to the dark place. It’s not easy or comfortable, but we can all push through that mental barrier to see what our body is really capable of.

By Conner Edelbrock


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