After putting the groceries in the back seat of the car, I closed the back door and sat in the driver seat since my wife does not feel like driving today. Which she never does, so why should this be a different day. I remember, on our first date night, I wanted to be a gentleman. So I drove for dinner to the Olive Garden in downtown Indianapolis—that was February 27 of 2009— I have not been able to get off the driver seat since. “I should call my mom,” she said and buckled up. As we are driving back home, I hear the voice of my mother-in-law on the other side. “How are you doing Mummy?” my wife asked. “I’m ok” she replied. After being married for seven years, even I could tell that “ok” meant not really good. It was either the physical pain or something deeper that was causing her to say “ok.” Marriage makes you predictable, and I knew what my wife’s response to that would be. “Have you been worrying too much?” she asked. After ten minutes of convincing my mother-in-law that she is responsible for the pain that she was feeling in her back and legs, they shifted gears to talk about the dog—his highlight of the day makes everyone smile, including me.
It was the middle of January in Dallas, Texas, although winters here are not as bad as some of the other cities I have lived in on the east coast —a bright day and seventy-four-degree temperature was perfect to get on my bicycle for a ride. I am an avid biker, but I thought that most bikers ride for hours and go forty miles or more at one time, so why shouldn’t I do it today. Of course, I was pushing every mile on my fixed-gear bike to get home after almost half-a-day of bike riding. And just a couple of miles from home, while I was coming down a hill, I lost the grip on my handle and before I could even blink, the skin on the joints of the left side of my body had already experienced the first road rash. A visit to the urgent care, weeks of antibiotics, not being able to stand properly and waking up in the middle of the night from the discomfort — all because of the pain.
Ruminating over the conversations between my wife and her mother for years, it was not ambiguous anymore- Pain is real. The Pain we experience; whether it is physical or emotional, it does exists. Not all the pain is created by how we think. If any part or organ of the body struggles to function optimally, we feel discomfort. We refer to this discomfort as pain. However, the intensity of the pain we feel could be altered by rewiring the brain. Training ourselves to learn the correlation between what exists and what we feel, gives us better control on the experiences we have in our personal, professional and social life. This is one way to create excellence in the experiences we have in our everyday life.