What is the English expression for the state that someone has to be "sick" beforehand, then at the end achieving the best result?

In my native language, it's said:

Rafting to the upstream areas (of water)[having sickness beforehand because of hard efforts], swimming to the edge (of the river bank)[achieving the best result at the end].

  • 1
    I don' understand how rafting upstream equates to sickness. And what is "the edge of water"?
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 8:59
  • Hmmm...sorry, I should've make it clearer. Please give me time. It's not always easy to convey the real message in English, as it is classified as a proverb here.
    – Student
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 12:40

1 Answer 1


"No pain, no glory." - I think this is a relevant expression.

"No pain, no gain." - This, too, is almost the same. - you'd gain something (result; desired effect) after the 'pain' (either physical pain, or some other things that may be 'sacrificed')

(I also remember this related line: 'No guts, no glory.")


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .