As a freshman on my high school's cross country team, our captain told me that to be a good runner, you needed to love pain.
I objected: a great runner could love to race, I said, and endure the pain only for the sake of competing and winning.
It's only fifteen years later (practically one foot in the grave), that I now see that I was wrong and he was right.
You can run out of habit or you can run because Coach would notice if you skip practice, but you cannot run because of the strictly instrumental effect that not-running would have on your goals. Our minds aren't built that way; what is separable conceptually is not separable architecturally.
Ultimately, to not sacrifice the gift, you have to love pain. You have to love life.