At the end of March, I posted a "Readership Questionnaire" and I wanted to share some of the answers over the span of a few posts.
Question: In your opinion, what's the difference between something (1) being challenging, (2) being painful, or (3) that will make you sore?
There were lots of great answers (thanks to all that answered) but there were some really great answers that fell in line with what I believe--that (1) challenges push you past mental and physical comfort zones; (2) pain is your body's warning sign that something is wrong and is often a predecessor to injury (or that pain will persist past; and (3) soreness is your body adapting and recovering from learning new movements.
I just want to encourage you all to CHALLENGE yourself, but to honor your body (and any signals of PAIN). Wear your SORENESS as a badge of honor (and make friends with ice, heat, epsom salts, etc.).
<3 you all
from @retroactiv_: Challenges are things you can overcome. Pain is something that should be expected when working out, but you should watch for the wrong "kind" of it (ie. chest, back, etc). Things that make you sore are awesome. Soreness means you are making progress and pushing yourself.
from @hockeygirl4: Everyone has challenges in their lives, whether physical or mental. My brother is physically challenged, has cerebral palsy, so if I'm participating in an activity, or attempting one but I'm scared, I think of him and what he has gone through in life thus far making my challenge a little less scary. Being in pain, that's a whole new issue. I have a really bad knee from a softball injury that was misdiagnosed years ago causing bone on bone irritation whenever I kneel, run, walk, go up and/or down stairs. It actually pisses me off when I can't participate fully in an activity at LA Boxing in Las Vegas. I feel like people are judging me as a wimp for not doing the outside jog, or a particular strength exercise (duck walks). It's painful physically and mentally for me. Something that makes you sore..hmmm...I'd say if you're sore, you've completed a task that was previously a challenge for you.
from @charliegirl2490: Challenging is good- you feel accomplished when you are done. Painful makes it impossible to do anything else when you are done. Making you sore is also good- I like to carry around a little stiffness after a workout.
from @SwimBikeRunDC: Something challenging makes you push yourself past your comfort zone and in the end makes you stronger. Something painful should be stopped and evaluated for type of pain/injury or whether the activity is good for you. Soreness can be good or bad depending on severity (and whether it creeps into ""painful""). I think being sore = getting stronger.
from @Nevers2Long: 1. Something I'm not familiar with is what I consider challenging. 2. Something being painful is just plain something that hurts. 3. Something that makes me sore is pretty how I'd describe working out. I don't feel it while I'm doing it, but my muscles let me know the next day.
from @stephmiller: Being challenging is something that you have to give everything to accomplish. You train, learn and take time to accomplish a challenging goal. Something painful is usually a red flag for me. If I am in the middle of a 5km run and i tweak my knee or have sudden ankle pain, then I stop. Something that makes me sore makes me proud. If my muscles ache after a work out I feel like I have accomplished something. Sore should not be mixed up with painful.