“PAIN DOESN’T JUST SHOW UP IN OUR LIVES FOR NO REASON. IT’S A SIGN THAT SOMETHING IN OUR LIVES NEEDS TO CHANGE.”
I will shortly describe the story that lead to me doing what I’m doing as a Personal Trainer and aspiring Physical Therapist.
Dear Past (Painful) Self,
Here is your story of how you started your journey from pain to pleasure.
It was early in the morning and the three of us boys were sitting in the back seat to a green Nissan driven by my angry father, who just dropped off my little brother at the baby sitter. I don’t remember why but my 50 year old father and I (a six year old boy) had been ferociously arguing (as usual). He continues to yell as he goes to make a right turn and without looking to his left a red truck comes shooting down the street at 60 miles per hour right into our tiny Nissan destroying our car and almost destroying us all.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt. Luckily, I was not seriously harmed, or so I thought. I had to get stitches on my lip. I had a concussion, and I had a massive headache for a couple days, but nothing too serious. Fast forward many years later…I was fortunate enough to have survived as the passenger to three more really severe car accidents before the age of 18…
Bad Lifting Form/Technique
Eventually, I started to lift religiously at school and then at the gym near my house. Sadly, for me, I didn’t do enough research to understand that if you lift 300 lbs with a curved back you’ll eventually have some problems. Combine this with the testosterone to prove myself as a bullied teenager by lifting heavy weights the wrong way, getting into lots of fights, playing contact sports and you have a recipe for PAIN….excruciating pain.
“Yusuf, you have herniated discs in your lower back”, the doctor said. “Is there a solution? Can this heal? Please tell me I can lift again”, I demanded. He delivered the most negative statement I ever heard up to that point, “I’m afraid that most people who have a herniated discs never heal. Just take these pills and you’ll have less pain, which we can manage, but not fully fix. I’m sorry.” I said to him, “This is bullshit…I’m going to handle this myself.”
Finding Solutions Myself
I leave the doctor’s office in Tampa, FL completely lifeless and apathetic. I felt so disappointed and angry at life. A few days of self pity in my room and I got bored. Since I couldn’t lift I might as well read like I used to before I started chasing girls…so I head to Barnes n Nobles to find a good book.
I walk in, and I pass the section on exercise and thought about looking for a book to find a solution to my back pain. But there really weren’t any. It was all a bunch of mumbo-jumbo (yes I just said that) of what causes pain and what medicine to take that manages the pain – but doesn’t fix it completely….I decided to go home and Google a solution, because there had to be a definite solution to this. There just HAS to be! Minutes turn to hours and I find all sorts of information on back problems. I realized it’s a spinal problem. I read about posture and structural integrity of the spine and how the relationship of it to the pelvis determines the outcome of the discs along the spine.
I go to the gym near my house and I ask the trainer there what he knows about posture (because he had mentioned it to me in the past). He said I need to work out my back. So, I start fixing my posture and then I start stretching. I realized that slowly the back pain goes away as long as I stand, sit, walk and move in proper positions. As time goes on the back pain becomes non existent. The research I’d done works.
Using My Pain As Power: How I Used What I Learned For Fixing Myself As a Gift To Help Others
“Out of your deepest pain will come your greatest gifts – but this can only happen when you take control of the meaning”
Eventually, I became a personal trainer after gaining some certifications and working with some clients for free. I realized that I was giving advice left and right to friends and people I met about how to get the body they want. With the knowledge I had I was able to make a real difference in the lives of others to help them get stronger, look better, and feel optimal – just like I did for myself. So, I go on with my life but of course things happen and life has its lessons to teach me.
More Accidents…and With It….Pain…
I end up getting a motorcycle (2014 Ninja 650r) and like a normal testosterone fueled 20 year old young man, I go way too fast around a corner near where I lived with my then fiance’, and…..I crash right into the median causing me to lay my bike down, destroy it and end up breaking my left big toe and right ankle. This was definitely the most painful moment of my life, physically. However, emotionally the most painful moment came when my then fiance’ decided to leave me while I was still unable to fully walk.
Seeking The Advice of Experts
I spend the next three months looking up experts like Paul Chek, Kelly Starrett, Elliott Hulse, Pavel Toutsaline, and Charles Poliquin to find solutions to how to get my ankle (and life) back to 100% capacity.
When I healed and was able to walk again I realized I needed surgery because the break was so severe that it didn’t heal properly. I spend another 3 months unable to walk and wishing I were dead. Yet, I didn’t give up. So, to pass the time I read…a lot about the ankle and about pain in general. The things I learned eventually fueled my desire to become an even better trainer. So, I listened to God/Universe/Source and I began learning more on the subject of how to overcome pain.
How Conquer Pain To Gain Came To Be
I kept hearing the phrase, “No Pain No Gain”. But I didn’t like that because, to me, pain is a great teacher of what needs to change and not a way to grow stronger. Instead I thought about how I’d rather CONQUER pain to gain. That is when Conquer Pain To Gain was born. It came out of my need to overcome my own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual pain to gain pleasure in my life and relationships. The physical pain I had made me depressed because I couldn’t exercise, which was my favorite thing to do, and when my fiance’ left me I felt lonely and suicidal so I had to overcome that as well.
So, in the next blogs you will find plenty of the ideas, strategies, and lessons I learned on my journey away from pain and towards pleasure. Join me as I conquer pain to gain pleasure, and maybe you’ll do the same!
The three stretches I listed above
Your Future (Pain-Free) self