Sports As Sado-Masochism

“Training can’t make athletes numb to pain,” explains Michael Thomsen, “but it can condition them to tolerate it”:

‘I remember the best race I ever had where the pain was almost enjoyable because you see other people hurt more than you,’ one Olympic athlete admitted during a study of pain tolerance published in The Journal of Sport Behavior in 2007. ‘If nothing is going wrong and there are no mechanical problems during the race then sometimes you can just turn the volume up a little higher and then a little higher and other people suffer and you almost enjoy it, even though you are in pain.’

On the subject of the movie seen above, Prefontaine:

“Steve knew he didn’t have the speed or the talent of some other runners, yet he willed himself to be great,” says Linda Prefontaine, Steve’s sister. “If other runners were going to beat him, Pre once said, They are going to have to bleed to do it.”