I used to be in a bad way.
Now I am in a good way.
Training in Gong Fu has been a real eye opener on how respect for your body can lead to very advantageous excersises in self brutalization.
My iron body training really hurts, but its a really good kind of hurt. As I condition my body, so too is my mind, and ultimately my heart.
I have known people who have interests in S&M. I was invited to join them, and because I sought approval and exceptence from my(still)freinds I experimented. It should probably be mentioned that I had a very low sense of self worth, both morally and spiritually, and had been doing things to myself, though not nearly as extreme. Punishment for perceived sins and weaknesses was a strong contributing factor. I believe I was fairly good at pretending I enjoyed it, and for a time I had convinced myself that I did,though that mind frame did not last long. I don't believe I really appreciated what that process and set of experiences was truly meant to accomplish.
I can say that I now genuinely respect and admire their devotion. Pushing the limits of my body has shown me what I am truly capable of and how to improve on a list of abilities and tolerances I didn't even know that I had. Alot of the things that my shirfu has me do are incredibly painful, tiring, streneuos, and brutal(and I'm not talking pushups and aerobics). But before, during, and after my training I still know that its good for me, that I'm improving myself, and acting in a worthwhile fashion. It feels great, inside and out.
The pain is good. I like the pain. The pain is life, and change, and growth.
Now I just need to find a girl willing to beat me with a bamboo pole or roleplay informant beat down sessions.
("Your not talking Mr. Smith...it seems like you want to be beaten some more..."
"I'll never talk you cold war reject...do your worst(PTUI!)"
"Oh, don't worry about that...(knuckles popping)")