I live sore.

Honestly, I would think something was wrong if I wasn’t. It would be like waking up with green hair or suddenly speaking a language I didn’t understand.

I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to being sore — that would be kinda weird — but there’s something about knowing you’re using the gifts you’ve been given that helps you sleep at night. It isn’t pride or arrogance or anything malicious, just a sense of satisfaction that can only be achieved through effort.

It’s awkward explaining it though. Sometimes people just stare and ask, “why do you do that to yourself?”

It’s a smart question, with an answer that’s easier to understand when you consider the alternative. And here’s a hint, the alternative to sore isn’t pain-free, it’s sickness. You just might not know it yet.

Take any one of the millions of humans who are insulin resistant (a disorder often caused by overeating sugar and not working out enough). Sure, their legs aren’t angry from yesterday’s workout, but they’re only a few carbohydrates short of being a Type II diabetic. And it only gets worse from there.

A tendency to over-medicate plays a role also. Let’s say someone has been dealing with a bad back for decades. Instead of exercising to repair imbalances, correcting movements and asymmetries, and just generally spending time sore, they turn to drugs to relieve the agony. Fine. Cool. Great. But what happens when drugs stop working? What happens when the sickness spreads?

I’ll tell you what happens; nursing homes pop up like coffee shops — that’s what happens. Insurance companies create insane policies. And kids are forced to take care of their parents in a way like never before. And for what? Because temporary discomfort was somehow worse than chronic illness?

If you’ve just started exercising, you’re going to be sore. Your arms will feel like a million pounds some days. Your legs will feel like they’ve been tenderized. And there are even times when sitting on the toilet is impossible, and you’ll wonder why you do this to yourself. And when that happens, imagine the alternative. You either live sore or sick. You decide.