pain of discipline or pain of regret

Pain of Discipline OR Pain of Regret

I encountered a painful reminder on the 5k race.

I ran and pushed my daughter in the stroller. My mileage and tempo was no longer where it needs to be to set PR’s, but I figured I could still win at least the stroller division! Here’s where I encountered both the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. 

At mile 2, I was passed by a mother pushing her daughter and as bad as I wanted, I just couldn’t keep up. I had no response and she took off…It was bad; I finished almost a minute behind her and limped in at a 7:31 minute pace.

Now, I can make as many excuses I want—not training enough, or having the time, or not making running a priority— all truths, but they are just well thought out excuses.


The point is that I experienced the pain of not being able to respond and getting beat. PAIN…

Now, there is another type of pain that athletes face.

  • Getting up early,
  • pushing oneself in practice,
  • experiencing setbacks, and getting better.

The pain of discipline is all about—Being All In. 

I spoke with the winner of the race who finished in 14:59, um, pretty fast, and  he said “it hurt.” PAIN of discipline or pain of regret. 

When we are all in, we are committing ourselves to doing the things we always don’t want to do. We are going to face pain, we are going to hurt, whether it is emotional or physical pain. But do we want to face it in practice or competition?

If we face the pain and discomfort in practice, it is the pain of discipline. If we only face the pain during competition, it usually turns into the pain of regret.

Check out a past post here on pain of discipline: How to run a marathon, write a book, and make a hole in one. 

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness-