The athlete knows the day will never come when he wakes up pain-free. He has to play hurt.
I am no athlete but I am athelitic. As I suffer through another bout of Plantar's Fasciitis, I can't run. Running was my stress reliever. When I can't run, I can't relieve my stress.
Athletes have to play through the pain and they do lasting damage to themselves. We are fortunate to be able to take time to heal.
Business is not a game but we often have to play "hurt". Our head is not in the game. A challenge takes away our motivation. S*** Happens. We have to play hurt.
It's what we are paid to do. At least we do no lasting damage to ourselves.