Monday, December 24, 2012

Fitness for the Masses

When this blog went inactive in early 2010, I weighed about 205 pounds.  Mind you, I'm just a tad over 5 feet.  I had a sedentary, stressful job.

Today, I weigh 30-35 pounds less and have added a reasonable amount of muscle mass.  I have changed careers and halved the amount of stress in my life.  I have run over a thousand miles since that time, including four half marathons, and have completed two sprint distance triathlons.


One of the reasons this blog went dormant was that I left myself no time for inactivity.  To go from couch potato to half-marathoner in 256 days required very careful time management, and not a lot of down time.  What down time I did have, I just wanted to spend sleeping.

I am here to tell you something that is hard for most Americans to hear:  if you aren't consistently working on become a fit, or fitter, person, you cannot seriously claim to be a survivalist/prepper/whatever.  It is ridiculous to sit around and salivate over an AR-15 rifle or MREs or what-have-you but to not be able to run a mile.

I am not saying that I am in perfect physical condition.  Believe me, I'm not.  But I'm in a helluva lot better shape than before, and it was worth every minute of effort I put into it.

How did I do it?

I started with a beginning runner's program that helped me train for a 5K (3.1 mile) race over a ten-week period.  It wasn't easy - for a few weeks, I fought bursitis in my knees that made running any distance at all very painful.  But a friendly orthopedist told me that I would do no lasting harm to continue running - and that the pain would ease when I lost some weight.

The program I used is very similar to the Couch Potato-to-5K program.  This program even has a mobile app available to help you complete your runs using your iPhone and your music.

I can do it, anybody can.  I was never consistently active, ever, before I began the couch-to-5K program.  Your knees won't take the impact?  Fine.  Take up swimming.  Or get on an elliptical trainer.  Walk.  Do something, anything.  Because in the final analysis, your body is your first and last line of defense against whatever emergency gets thrown at you.

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