Teaser: There are moments – glimpses of time where we are on the very edge of greatness, where we have no idea that if we could summon one more second, one more attempt, one more push we would breakthrough. But it hurts, it is painful, it is uncomfortable – it is just too much so we back off – we ease up, we retreat and withdraw. Although not all of us do some learn how to manage it


Today’s podcast is the possibility of the pain threshold.


Today we will talk about:

What is the pain threshold?

When do we push – when do we rest – how can we get comfortable being uncomfortable?

What are the small things we can do with our experiences with the pain threshold to empower ourselves to become better.


Good to be with you on the podcast for today. Our topic for today is to push our own personal leadership to get a bit better ourselves. Michelle seemed to notice a pattern with the podcast topics and downloads. The podcasts which were about topics which were about ourselves – which were about getting better as a person seemed to have the most downloads. And I wonder is this the case?


With this podcast I will need to project a bit inot the future with what I see may happen in the near future. Since I focused on writing two podcasts this weekend to record two next weekend. So looking into the future a bit. I had an interesting conversation about a potential Ad sponsor on the podcast which was cool. I will have been a part of a panel interview as a moderator for, More than a Word at ASU West. This will have been a true watershed moment for me as this will be my first time sharing space with one of my Native heroes Amanda Blackhorse. She was a major focus of the documentary More than a Word which focuses on the negative effects of Mascots Stereotypes on Native people. One of my highlights was Amanda Peltier and Amanda Blackhorse shared my event on Facebook! How cool!


Also remember to rate and review us on iTunes, or Stitcher, or if you could please share the podcast on social media, All these things go a long way to making a significant difference for us here at the inclusive activism podcast. Also please subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play as these are great ways for me to show “proof of work to potential sponsors”. It would also go a long way in getting my producer Sara paid for her work someday too!


So checking in on my Activism:

This week I will have done the screening of More than a Word

I will have given my first persuasive speech on why participants should be in DI.

I am now a graduate of Valley Leadership Advance – hooray for me!

Other than that this is a planned break time for me – I had been running pretty hot and heavy the past few weeks and resting is a part of positive activism


Self Care: This is a projection

Lift X5 a week which – is really needed this will be my first 5 day week in a long time

Got 3X cardio one will be a lifting session, another will be a hike or outdoor speed work, and the last I am hoping will be a friends crossfit gym

And Meditated for 4X for at least 10-15 mins didn’t do much this week due to the holiday weekend

I will get a lot of sleep over this Thanksgiving weekend which is positive

And started some training with the dogs this weekend which is needed because they need some stability.


So on to the podcast for today! The Pain Threshold.



First thing: What is the pain threshold?


The threshold of pain or pain threshold is the point along a curve of increasing perception of a stimulus at which pain begins to be felt. It is an entirely subjective phenomenon. A distinction must be maintained between the stimulus (an external thing that can be directly measured, such as with a thermometer) and the person’s or animal’s resulting pain perception (an internal, subjective thing that can sometimes be measured indirectly, such as with a visual analog scale). Although an IASP document defines “pain threshold” as “the minimum intensity of a stimulus that is perceived as painful”,[1] it then goes on to say (contradictorily in letter although not in spirit) that:[1]

Traditionally the threshold has often been defined, as we defined it formerly, as the least stimulus intensity at which a subject perceives pain. Properly defined, the threshold is really the experience of the patient, whereas the intensity measured is an external event. It has been common usage for most pain research workers to define the threshold in terms of the stimulus, and that should be avoided … The stimulus is not pain (q.v.) and cannot be a measure of pain.

Although the phrasing may not convey it perfectly, the distinction clearly meant is the aforementioned one between the stimulus and the perception of it. The intensity at which a stimulus (e.g., heat, pressure) begins to evoke pain is thus called by a separate term, threshold intensity.[1] So, if a hotplate on a person’s skin begins to hurt at 42 °C (107 °F), that is the pain threshold temperature for that bit of skin at that time. It is not the pain threshold (which is internal/subjective) but the temperature at which the pain threshold was crossed (which is external/objective).

The intensity at which a stimulus begins to evoke pain varies from individual to individual and for a given individual over time.

So its this last idea that gets me excited, the idea that the intensity at which a stimulus begins to evoke pain varies for a given individual – over time. Which means this pain threshold can be enhanced.


Why do we want to develop our pain threshold? It is because pain keeps us from the opportunity of our best self. Think about it, doing cardio – frankly sucks – and to get better and better at cardio you have to push yourself over and over again to the point of pain.


Also with lifting weights to hit the notion of progressive overload (hitting the point at which you need to add weights or do more reps – the goal of a training regimin) You have to hit that point of pain and push a few more out.


If we can push against our pain threshold again and again and again we can get better at hitting that point of pain and doing a little bit more.



Second: How can we make this work for us? And when do we back off so as to not cause injury?


The promise of moving our pain threshold is potentially infinite. Think about how often you avoid things. Things that are even just slightly uncomfortable? Think about how often you avoid rejection – you don’t even bother to ask for things because you don’t want to get a no about something.


That is bananas because you preclude the possibility of something by choosing NO yourself for someone you have never asked. Why would you do that? How many Yeses have you made a No because you were not willing just ask? Now I am not advocating pushing everything to a sense of a limitless no end – I think there is room for discretion or that you can look for win- win opportunities. But damn don’t make a simple ask a NO just because the answer might be a No, all you do in that instance is assure the answer is a No, which means you choose to fail!


You avoid the uncomfortable – think of it many times you don’t event like being somewhat impositioned, you don’t even like being made to feel the slightest bit uncomfortable! Honestly discomfort and to a lesser degree pain is where you grow! If everything is just fine and dandy there is no real eustress growth – Eustress growth is positive stress – Eustress means beneficial stress—either psychological, physical (e.g. exercise), or biochemical/radiological (hormesis).


Positive growing hurt is where it is at!


Now I am not saying that we need to just inflict pain on ourselves for the purposes of being in pain only, that causes distress which is not what we are looking for. Trust me too I have overtrained many times – tell the story of leg day distress at night!


But we should be so well aquatinted with our own pain threshold that we know the clear difference between eustress and distress. And really push it a bit! I have never been hurt too much by cardio – I have felt like I was going to die yes many times – but with cardio I 98% of the time bounce back the next day.


With weights I need try to go WITH A SPOTTER until the muscle switch fails to fire. When I hit failure I know there is nothing left. With a trusted spotter they can lift that weight off me a bit But being well aquainted with and pushing my pain threshold more and more a tiny bit every day hold the possibility of difficult to quantify gain!


Lastly – what can we do to push our notion of the pain threshold day in and day out?

So these suggestions are for pain as well as discomfort – not just both but these small ideas can push you past your pain threshold daily.


So low hanging fruit ways to push the pain –

Make your Bed – every day – its not hard but is is the start of disciple and you will need powerful discipline to push past what would have been previous barriers

Brush your teeth – twice a day

Do some type of exercise regimen  at least 5 times a week. Some rest days are good especially if you are pushing your pain threshold

Take cold showers only – why because you can take it frankly the more cold you are exposed to the more positive brown fat you store which is really good for you!


More moderate ways to push your pain threshold

Cardio – you have to push it to get better, if you don’t try harder you don’t get better

Weight train with a spotter

Eat Clean for 6-8 weeks at a time

Try Intermittent Fasting

Read books at night – every night


More advanced ways to push your pain threshold

High Intensity Interval training – the high intensity parts hurt – bad but damn if you want to get into shape with a max 27 mins in a day – this will do it

Get rejected on an ask about something once per day – this will push you out of your comfort zone

Reject a harmless social norm for a whole day – put a mark on your forehead and leave it dispite everyone’s objections – it is harder than you think

Go vegan

Run a marathon

Being an inclusive Activist

Start a podcast and never miss a date – am I right Sara?


All of these things will help you notice when we experience pain. We have to find a way to push past the point of discomfort, and we all need to be able to bear a little pain. We need to get comfortable with that pain we need to put ourselves in spaces and places to experience that pain a bit more and then a little be more.


It is going to hurt – we are going to need to experience some pain – but when you think of it what hurts more being stuck in who you are right now and knowing who you could be? Or never knowing the opportunity or potential of who you can choose to become!

So in review major points of this podcast were:

  1. We talked about what the pain threshold was and how it works.
  2. How we can make the pain threshold work for us to get better and avoid injury
  3. Suggestions on how we can push our pain threshold more with disciple and effort to become our best selves!


SO if this made you think something, if you have a question or even more shocking a critique let me know. You can call me at 860-576-9393


This space is a place to talk back ask me questions, hit me with scenarios of how to react to situations real time. Depending on how good your stuff is I will give it my “first take response” or if it’s good it might be a future podcast!


Also as always if you’re interested in booking me to bring the power of inclusive activism to your organization you can always do so at inclusiveactivism@cox.net or you can learn more about this organization at www.inclusiveactivism.com