Todd Motto

Todd Motto @toddmotto

Sharing my fitness and health journey with all developers, so you can change your life too. I suffered from years of weight gain, back ache, depression, low energy, bad diets and more. Here's what I did about it!

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Accept and Enjoy the Physical Discomfort

27 September 2021

Todd Motto

I started running last year after a 5 year break and 30kg weight gain. My lungs burned, my legs hurt, my breathing was all over the place. My whole body simply hurt.

Then it just hit me.

That feeling… “Stop! Let’s just stop! It hurts a bit too much”.

You know exactly what I’m talking about.

The “old me” would have stopped straight away. Maybe you would too. But what did I do?

I laughed. I’m not really sure why. I never planned to.

But at that moment, I broke free of the physical pain barrier. It simply became irrelevant.

So you might be asking “why did you laugh?” because yes - it’s not even funny.

I can only imagine that my sincere desire to “win” against my old self was so strong that it allowed me to not just “break through the pain barrier” but demolish it entirely. From that moment, it was apparent that I didn’t care what was thrown at me. I was ready to face it.

My laughter was a sincere “fuck you” to the devil that’s sat on my shoulder for my whole life.

What happened after I laughed? The devil decided to work with me. We ran even faster. It was a strange experience, it felt like my brain had finally accepted what I was putting my body through and simply agreed that this was the way forward.

Fast-forward 2 months later, I decided to take this to the next level and ran up the Lansdowne Monument next to my house. I called this run the “suicide run”, because quite frankly it was a ridiculous idea.

It was freezing cold, I wore thermals, the wind was bitter and slammed my face. It was beautiful, though. Running up there was nothing compared to the stresses and traumas we go through in our lives - and that helped me accept the challenge.

Running up the Lansdowne Monument in Cherhill where I live.
Running up the Lansdowne Monument in Cherhill where I live.

I ran all the way up without stopping. My legs have never burned so much in my life, yet it didn’t really bother me. Every step I took was one closer to the top. Was I really running up this thing?! People walking down it said “you are absolutely crazy” as I went past them. I guess it’s better to be the crazy one.

From learning to work with the pain, I am able to manage it. That means you don’t need to just “stop” or “give up”. You need to simply pay attention.

You need to think how to manage the physical stress you are currently undertaking.

One way or another, you have to make it to the top. There was no chance I was going to stop.

You also don’t need to stop. If you need to stop, you are probably going too fast. You need to learn what your body can achieve and how long for. It’s common when starting out that we try and copy others, quickly leading to exhaustion and a feeling of never wanting to do it again. It’s only natural.

By taking an incremental approach, you can work under your limit each time. Instead of going in all “guns blazing”, take it down a few notches. Build up strength. Stamina. Listen to your body. Let it tell you what it likes and dislikes. Find a flow and rhythm.

This all started with a smile, a laugh.

I now run 5k in 21mins and 10k in 46mins. That’s an entire 10mins faster than I ran 10k 5 years ago when I was 25-years-old.

The next time you feel that pain that makes you want to stop - I want you to simply laugh as well.

Flirt with your pain barrier and you’ll learn who you truly are. It will also help you shape who you want to become.

You don’t hate running, you dislike how unfit it makes you realise you are.

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