Dedicated athletes aren't afraid of pushing themselves. They feel the burn with pride, have incredible pain tolerance, and aren't afraid of getting injured trying to top their own best stats. Athletes are notorious for taking a tumble and bouncing right back up with a cheerful declaration of "I'm fine!" to anyone worried nearby.  It's not the fall or even the injury that athletes fear, but the time spent in recovery. Almost all athletes who work hard to maintain their peak condition and continue to improve their abilities are most afraid of being told to rest by a doctor. Even a single day on the couch feels wasted and dangerous. You think you can feel your muscles starting to deteriorate and that first week, you may become convinced that without some hard exercise, you'll "go to pot" almost immediately.