What does SUCK IT UP really mean?
The actual history of this expression is pretty disgusting. If you don’t like reading gross information, please don’t read any further. Move on to another part of my blog. Consider yourself warned if you choose to proceed.
Back in the early days of aviation, during World War II, fighter pilots wore oxygen masks to fly at higher altitudes. The earliest oxygen masks were not as technically sophisticated as masks worn by today’s pilots. My father was a B-17 pilot and I often played with the leather cap he’s wearing in the accompanying photo. Yep – that’s my dad around the age of 19 or 20. (And you thought it was Emilia Earhart!) That leather cap was far from being technically advanced. It was nothing compared to today’s equipment.
When fighter pilots perform aggressive arial maneuvers, the G-forces often cause them to regurgitate the contents of their stomach… into their Oxygen masks. Today’s Oxygen masks have a provision for this. In the early days, the pilots had only two options. They could inhale the acidic fumes of their vomit, which would cause certain death, OR, if they wanted to live, they literally had to SUCK IT UP!
SUCK IT UP means to choose the lesser of two evils. Both choices are unpleasant but one choice is certainly better than the other.
Sometimes we are faced with two evils and we must choose the lesser. It’s never pleasant but it’s better than the alternative. Consider physical exercise. Is it always pleasant? No. Sometimes it is very unpleasant for a variety of reasons. We have to get out of bed a little earlier, deal with stiff, achy joints and muscles, accelerate our heart rate to an uncomfortable level and sweat profusely. All of this discomfort provides both short-term and long-term benefits. For the short-term benefits, we enjoy the feeling of loosening up; increasing our blood-flow and purging stagnant toxins out of our bodies. Some of us also get to enjoy a rush of endorphins which gives us “the runner’s high”. Our long-term benefits include better health and potential longevity.
Exercise is one choice. To an out-of-shape couch-potato, exercise seems like the greater evil. But, for those of us who know the benefits, exercise is the lesser evil. What is our greater evil? What is our alternative choice? To be sedentary, unhealthy, over-weight, sluggish, drowsy, sick, over-medicated and potentially doomed to die prematurely and miserably. NO THANKS! We will SUCK IT UP! We will endure the lesser of two evils. We’re disciplined for daily exercise. We’re disciplined to deny ourselves fatty, unhealthy foods and eat right. We’re disciplined to pay a little more for quality foods rather than eating cheap, processed junk.
Living healthy and staying fit is a constant struggle. We must consistently choose the lesser of two evils.
FACT: You won’t live and live well until you’re ready to SUCK IT UP!
Suck It Up Fitness | David Clapp | Suck It Up | Portland Oregon Certified Personal Trainer