Someone took a picture of me standing near the finish line of the Boom Town CX Mudfest. It is readily apparent that the man in the photo is in serious pain. The pain that I felt at that moment was not really due to the pulled calf muscle that I sustained, but had more to do with the absolute ragged edge of survival that competitive cycling demands. And By Gum, if'n you aint pukin' when you hit that finish line, well you didn't give 'er yer all!
Which brings me to my point in question. How the Hell do those Pro riders look so good immediately after a long 1000 meter sprint, after a four hour freakin' mountain stage!? I've heard that in big league baseball if a batter is hit by a pitch he will never touch or rub the area hit, simply because of some unwritten macho-psychotic tradition. Rarely will you see a pro rider show any pain as the result of his effort. I've noticed that they also don't seem to breath very hard.
What is this strange game we play wherein we know, before we start, that it's gonna hurt, even if we don't get injured. And why does it keep us coming back for more?