It is something all waiters know well. The unbelievably excruciating pain that comes from carrying a plate from the kitchen to the table that, half way to the table, feels as if it well sear the very flesh from your hands until you are left with nothing but a cauterized hole at the bottom of which reveals the bones in your hands.
Ok, not quite that bad, but it hurts.
There are two types of plate carries. The first is the stack method. You stack three (or maybe four, depending on the length of your arms) with one in your hand, another slightly up your arm, and resting on the first plate. The third further up, etc. This is efficient, but sometimes it is difficult, depending on your physiology. The second is the butterfly carry, and it is the most common. This involves carrying two plates in your left hand, one sort of stacked on the other, forming a butterfly arrangement. You can then place another plate on your arm, with part of it balanced on the plates and the arm. This is the plate that tends to get you in trouble. This carry frees you to hold a fourth plate in your right hand and, voila, you can run all the food to a table of four by yourself.
The third plate tends to have some contact with your wrist. Look at the underside of your arm, around the wrist area. Unless you have attempted suicide at some point, or are a Maggie Gyllenhall clone from "Secretary", then they are probably some of the softest skin on your body. The two plates in your hand don't hurt as badly, because your skin on your hands is more calloused. But the wrist... whew... this can really sting.
I bring this up because, recently, we have switched plates to a thinner variety, and these plates get quite a bit hotter than the old plates.
So, you walk to the table, trying not to show your discomfort, but speeding up your walk to try to get to the table as fast as you can. Now, this is how I know that meditation and the like must work, if done correctly, because you can literally just tell yourself "This doesn't hurt, this doesn't hurt, this doesn't hurt," and the pain goes away. It is normally quite brief, a second, maybe two, but this buys you some time to get to the table and set the plates down.
It is amazing, the human mind. And it is amazing my arms don't resemble Maggie Gyllenhall's.