A delightful novelist, Haruki Murakami, put together his journaled thoughts and other stories around the interplay between his running and writing in a nice little books called What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. While a great read to be enjoyed by any writer, it's real value is a looking into one person's creative process.
While at times philosophical, at times insightful and often simply amazing the amount of running one man does, a single though stuck with me:
"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you're running and start to think, Man this hurts, I can't take it anymore, the hurt part is the unavoidable reality, but whether you can't stand anymore is up to the runner himself. This pretty much sums up the most important aspect of marathon running"
Pain is an inevitable part of pushing one's self in anything. The pain may be physical as in running or mental when trying to do something like push a great idea through a corporation, or just any group of people. Doing great work is very hard, even for those who make it look easy. Though while hard if you decide not to suffer along the way it becomes much easier.
Or something like that.
Update: Sorry for the dirty socks Cheryl. Here's one my mother would approve, from a few months ago, rather than years.