Trying Something New in My Down Time
  Kurt Ellingson 12:00 AM
After the gruelling Western States 100 mile endurance run, I have found myself taking a bit of a break from racing and the stresses that came with it. In the past 5 years that I have been running, I have never really taken a ‘break'. I mean, I have taken the odd week off here and there to recover, but nothing I would consider a break. Needless to say, with all the free time I have not training I have been on some of the most amazing adventures in extremely beautiful places. I have even started a new sport!

My boyfriend has been climbing for almost 17 years and naturally he has taken me out a few times. I have to admit, I have a fear of falling and this used to be a real problem in the beginning. To take this admittance even further, I found myself in a state of panic on the rock a few times. But then I learned a valuable lesson, a lesson that holds true in all facets of life. I learned to trust- the rope that is. I eventually realized through trial and error that when I let go of the rock (or fall), I didn't go anywhere.

This break from training has allowed me the freedom to spend time climbing and I AM LOVING IT! It's so different than running and works a completely whole new set of muscles in an entirely different way. I am starting to get pipes! I am feeling stronger than ever because when you run long distances like I do, you lose muscle in the process.

I can remember being a child and my dad would frequently take us camping and hiking in Squamish. Whenever we drove by the Chief, he would always point out the little people climbing on the rock. They looked so small on that giant piece of granite. Now I am one of them. It's crazy! This summer, climbing has taken me to the Rockies, Revelstoke, Squamish, and even in my own backyard in the Lynn Valley Headwaters.

I will never stop running and I am the first to admit that. However, sometimes it's nice to break away from the everyday routine of training and try something new. You learn more about yourself doing something new than you do doing the same thing over and over.

On that note, get out there and make it your goal to try something new in the remaining months left we have in 2010.

Note: All of my climbing endeavours have been powered by Elevate Me energy bars! When your climbing, you need to pack light! These high protein bars are as light as they come!

Nicola Gildersleeve

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