I’m sitting on a couch, wasting time on the internet. Something doesn’t seem right. My life is a mess.

Minutes later, I’m running in the cold winter air.

The harsh air feels like needles down my throat, my muscles start hurting, I’m warming up. I push harder. I start running faster. Pain is here. I remember now…

I remember the endless nights without sleep, marching without a break, running without knowing how many miles were left, crawling while asking myself why was I there. I remember falling asleep while standing in line for the medical check, having the will to run but not being able to move my muscles, my rifle hitting my helmet after my arms couldn’t stay raised above my head anymore.

I remember waking up from a dream only to realize I was still walking with the weapon in my hands and the heavy military rucksack on my back, miles and miles away from those lights on the horizon which meant that a bed was waiting for me. I remember trying to do one more push-up when my muscles weren’t responding anymore, raising that log above our heads and feeling that one of our team mates had quit pushing the log.

I remember that the cold and the rain did not matter, that the food was good enough just if it was, that I could have slept anywhere in any position, that we were not allowed to have a watch and never knew what was waiting around the corner. I remember going to sleep after three days like this and being waken up five minutes later to continue. They called it hell week.

I remember now. Whenever things got hard, pain was there, by my side. Pain was everywhere, in every move, in every muscle, in every moment. I remember going beyond my known limits, and the only one out there with me was pain. Pain was my friend back then.

Nowadays I complain about not having enough time to sleep, not eating at the proper hour at lunch, doing meaningless tasks at work or that other people don’t care or that they are late. I find lots of things to complain about. I expect people to be caring, life to be easy, the world to be a cozy and nice place to be in, and everything to be in order. Nowadays… pain is my enemy.

The thing is that nature doesn’t care about us, this world is chaotic, nobody gives a shit about the rules and evolution never happened on a couch…

I’m running hard now, my muscles hurt but I like it, pain is here. I’m running as fast as I can, I can’t breathe properly and my muscles scream. Pain smiles to me. We are friends again.

I am home now, taking a hot shower, but I remember my friend and switch to cold water.

Welcome back, old friend.


  1. Steve
    September 13, 2018

    That was amazing. Exactly what I needed right now.

    • Vlad C.
      September 13, 2018

      Wow. Thanks a lot. It’s good to know this helped someone.

      I don’t know what you’re going through, but keep on going, Steve. 😉 And don’t be afraid to feel the pain. Just let it be and do what you have to do.

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