Friday, November 6, 2009

Nut Up!

Not many people in blogland know that outside of the three triathlon disciplines, my favorite outdoor activity is rock climbing. Again, like Xterra this is an odd hobby for someone who lives in Central Illinois. For years, I did quite a bit of outdoor climbing (Southern Illinois actually has some worldclass sport climbing).

For the time being triathlon has supplanted most of my rock climbing. A few years back though, I was in decent climbing shape and was visiting the inlaws in Las Vegas for X-mas. My brother tagged along with the intention of doing some sport climbing in Red Rock Canyon. I was having a good trip having just sent the classic 5.12a Fear and Loathing route. The story I am trying to get to though, involves another pair of young kids on an even tougher route. With sport climbing you often take 20+ ft falls onto your rope. Well these kids were working a particularly difficult section that had a lot of rope run-out which made for some good falls. Each time one of them would hit this crux section, they would start yelling at each other to "Nut Up!".

I have loved this phrase ever since. It's simplicity -particularly in this context- speaks volumes. Sometimes you just have to nut up and take those big risks. At some point your own excuses start to sound hollow. Sometimes the difference between a P.R. and a ho-hum race is just a matter of attitude. Nut up!

I've had a rollercoaster season triathlon-wise. An extended off-season took awhile to shake. I eventually got in reasonably good shape, won a few races and then qualified for the 70.3 World Championships at Steelhead in August. This fall I have been contending with a new job that is much more time-intensive as well as a move to a new house. I took all of September off from training. The rest of my training has been irregular and haphazard. For awhile I was just going to skip Clearwater and put it off for another season. That was dumb. My whiny, primadonna reasoning was that if I didn't have a shot at a P.R. it wasn't worth racing. You know what a lot of people would love to be at this race. Nut up. 1 long run in the last two months? Nut up! Strained calf? NUT UP!

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