It's funny. In the depths of our despair we only see what we want to see. Whereas during our moments of triumph we see everything. Okay that's not strictly true. In part during our triumphs we may forget the hard times and take our success for granted, because we have earned it, which is of course missing the point.
I like mountaineering so much because it's hard and even on the best day I never feel like I conquered anything but rather took advantage of a brief opportunity. Similarly, that's what I have realized my running life is. My sophomore and junior year in college I had 15 consecutive personal records in races. I took it for granted every race would be a new best. In the past two years I have only really had 24 hour and 50 mile personal records. And now I sit here on my couch with a sore right hamstring.
It feels like my body is betraying me. I like to think I usually learn from my injuries but I am starting to wonder.
I read an article recently about Mother Teresa: https://gratefultothedead.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/mother-teresas-long-dark-night/
A similar story is told in the Bible in Job, and if you ever want to be a little more minalist read Ecclesiastes. The point being, it's not all about our "triumphs", that's a pretty shallow view on life, because "there is nothing new under the sun". There is legitimate joy in suffering. Rather more specifically, knowing suffering is temporary and will teach us patience, perseverance, character and hope enables us to enjoy situations that we despise. As I often say while suffering in terrible weather on a mountain, "it doesn't have to be fun to be fun".