No Pain No Gain

The new year is upon us and with that comes the time to put everything in good working order. I suppose that includes our bodies. Ugh!


My husband loves the expression “No pain, no gain.” I, myself, am not a fan. It can’t be true. For example, if you don’t go through the pain of exercising (no pain), you’ll probably gain weight (some gain). See, I’ve disproved it already. 

I don’t think I should have to suffer to improve. To explore this contention, I thought I’d check out some often used exercise options to try and prove my point. 

One very popular exercise choice is yoga. As part of my exercise regime, I included yoga once a week. After a few weeks of trying to unsuccessfully tangle myself up like a pretzel and experiencing some pain in the process, I came to the conclusion that having an official yoga mat would solve all my problems. It didn’t.  

I am unable to force my body into weird and unnatural positions. I have ways to greet the sun other than doing a sun salutation. I just say, “Good morning sun.” and move on from there. In fact, I have my own personal preferred poses. There’s the yes-she-can-stand-up-after-getting-out-of-bed pose, the stand-in-front-of-the-coffee maker-holding-a-mug pose, and the advanced, leaning-against-the-counter-eating-a-bowl-of-cereal pose. 

Since yoga didn't seem to be working for me, maybe something to strengthen my muscles was in order. Weight lifting; that's the ticket. By choosing the right weights this could easily fall into my “no pain” exercise category. After some time, with things going pretty well, I figured I’d kick it up a notch and buy some heavier weights. 

My plan was to go to the next weight up, but when I got to the store and saw how expensive the weights were I decided to go up two more pounds; more bang for my buck. The fact that I could barely carry the weights out of the store was the first clue that my thriftiness may have been a bad idea. I guess the first exercise with my new weights will be to bring them in from the car. 

Perhaps my muscles just aren’t in shape for all of the twisting and lifting. I’ve been eyeing this thing called a foam roller which should be just the thing for loosening and preparing my muscles for my no pain exercise program. If this plan goes well I can write a book; take this baby on the road. I’ll be famous.

All you have to do with this foam roller gizmo is roll around on it. Simple. As you roll on it, it massages your muscles, helping them become more flexible. This thing might get me into such good shape that I’ll quickly move into elite athlete status. It never hurts to dream. 

Following a helpful online instruction video I find that of course this thing massages your muscles. I know that because it hurts. It’s like getting a deep tissue massage from Helga the Strong and Mean.

Oh, all right, maybe there is no gain without pain. But I’m still not giving in. I will diligently continue my mission to disprove my husband’s point. Otherwise I’ll have to suffer from his being right yet again. Gain for him, pain for me. 

Jennifer Zelenka LaSala January 10, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Nice :) Good luck with your endeavor!
David Leader January 10, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Are you guys on p90x2 as well? Only reason I'm asking is the hints of "Yoga once a week" and "new foam rollers" and "twisting" hint at what we are doing as well. And for what it's worth, Angie's and my attitutdes for workouts sound EXACTLY like you guys :).
Carol Frey January 10, 2012 at 11:30 PM
David, Thanks for reading the article. As you know, this is a humor article and I take the opportunity from time to time to poke fun at my own endeavors. The truth is that I have been doing P-90X (or my version of) with some regularity for over a year now and like it. (except for the yoga which, as I mentioned in the article, is not my fav.) So, after completing the 3 month program, I dropped the yoga from my regimen. Keep up the good work.
Lisa Culling January 12, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Hi Carol, I love this article. So funny! If you ever want to try some new in-home exercises that require work...but not pain, let me know. I enjoy your column.
Carol Frey January 12, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Hi Lisa and Jennifer. Thanks for your comments and for reading the column. And thanks for the exercise offers Lisa.


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