If poison ivy leaves can be rubbed onto the skin of a person known to have a reaction to poison ivy and that person can have no reaction when convinced that the leaves are not poison ivy, then suffering is a choice.

If nonharmful leaves can be rubbed onto the skin of a person known to have a reaction to poison ivy and that person can have a full blown poison ivy reaction because they are convinced that the leaves were from a poison ivy plant, then suffering is not only a choice, but real harm doesn’t need to be inflicted onto a person, as perceived harm is sufficient for suffering to exist.

We have been brainwashed that life is hard, suffering is guaranteed with the only option being the form of suffering you will experience in your life. As a result, we engage in sport with the same mindset that we engage all of life… its supposed to be hard, painful, filled with agony and suffering and in fact the more torture and the more torturous the effort the better because we have tied results to be correlated to the amount you are willing to hurt yourself, to the amount you are willing to hurt. We have been brainwashed that suffering is normal and now we brainwash our children that to succeed in anything in life they must suffer too; again leaving the only variable in life to be the form of torture you/they will experience and endure.

Meanwhile it has been scientifically shown that suffering is a choice.

But being bent on suffering, we pursue stress, we add stress to our lives whenever the option arises and then we boast at how busy and stressed we are, how exhausted we are, how deprived of energy we are. We entangle ourselves in a web of complexity having been brainwashed that suffering is mandatory, suffering the stresses we pick for ourselves [believing its better to pick the stresses/stressors in life rather than having them fall randomly and uncontrollably into our lives].

Meanwhile its been scientifically shown that we perform at our highest potential – our brain & body unite to perform at our greatest – when we are relaxed, in a state of calm, of joy, of peace.

Yet who pursues any of these?

Instead we believe that the only relief from suffering arises while on vacation, when we hopefully can fall into a moment of blissful nothingness. If not on vacation, then we rely on a nightly bottle of wine or scotch or a joint to numb us into a passing moment of blissful nothingness. Yet we always awaken back to the stress of being alive, and the suffering that comes along with it.

If this is how you want to live and pursue sport, so be it. Knock yourself out in your pain cave as you torture yourself with HiiT.

If you have had enough of living in pain, suffering, harming yourself all in the name of results, progress and success, then know that there is an alternative way to achieving in life. A way that requires work, a way that requires commitment, dedication, effort, and will take time, but involves no suffering.

Dr Larry Berkelhammer

Sadhguru / Jaggi Vasudev

Dr Jordan Peterson

Aimee & I have coached athletes to personal goals, to performance goals and to the podium without ever encouraging self harm, without pushing anyone to hurting, without encouraging “taking the pain”, or learning to tolerate pain. We refuse to teach suffering. Instead we believe and teach to rise beyond the belief of suffering and strive for calm, peace and joy — the state in which learning, hence higher and higher levels of performance are possible. There is no question whether this is true or even possible. The only question is… how do you want to live your life and how do you want your kids to live theirs?

And with that… I conclude my life as a blogger.

After writing over 300 blogs across my old athletescloud.ca website, and the blogs on both the TOEST.ca and TOETT.ca websites, its enough. I believe the point has been made that the narrative sold by coaches, by sports media, and in some cases even sports associations that you must suffer to succeed is outdated. Science in the past few decades has proven time and time again that none of the beliefs that are held in sport today are valid or reliable, yet because the superstition of doing things the way they’ve been done for years is sticky, sport remains in its own dark ages. My hope is that a new generation of athletes will refuse to be trained and coached by beliefs of success arising from self inflicted harm, suffering and enduring endless pain. When they do, sport will evolve into what it can be for that generation and those to follow.


When the student/athlete is ready, the teacher/coach will appear.
The Buddha