If I decided not to go to the gym on days that I was feeling discomfort or pain, I fear that I would never go. I always seem to be dealing with one problem or another.  It might be something wrong with my feet; either a callous on the bottom of my foot or a soreness in the instep that becomes a pain on the heal of one foot or the other.  My right wrist bothers me more often then not. I need a third surgery on my left shoulder that I am putting off because there is not much they can do short of a replacement and I'm not ready for that yet.  I seem to have chronic problems with muscle spasms in my lower back. I had both of my knees replaced seven years ago and from time to time I have inflammation and soreness due to overuse. Recently, I had a bad bruise on the inside of my right thumb which made it painful to grip the bar or dumbbell in the traditional way. As the saying goes, if its not one thing, it's two.

Through it all , I continue to get up in the morning and go to the gym. You improvise, you adapt and you do what you have to do to get through the workout.  I change my grip to take pressure off my thumb.  I limit my range of motion and never let the barbell travel behind my head.  I keep my thumbs up on lateral moves and I listen to my body and take it easy on my back when I need time to work through an issue.  I regularly see the foot doctor to scrape callouses and cut my toenails to prevent problems.

My fear is getting hurt to the point where I am unable to go to the gym.  I work through all the issues mentioned here because I find that I feel better working through the pain and using the parts that are causing me problems, rather then resting them.  They seem to lubricate and, consequently, work better when I use them.  Age may have something to do with it.  Long term use may actually mean that wear and tear is catching up with my 61 year old body.  But, I am undeterred because the great feeling I get from being fit is worth the pain.  I know that I will continue my five or six days a week in the gym for the rest of my life.

Tell me how you deal with your pain and discomfort.