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Why Does Fitness Matter to Prepping?
Because a large part of this blog, as well as my YouTube channel, is documenting my continuous education in becoming prepared, it is sometimes going to be less than comfortable for me to document some topics. Physical Fitness is one of the topics I have struggled with most of my adult life and one of the things I wish i could magically change, but, alas, it requires effort and mindful work.
If we just briefly search the internet on any subject related to preparedness it becomes very evident that we, as a society, are very “gear centric.” We focus on things that we think are going to help us survive and often ignore the fundamental skills and abilities that are crucial. Being well armed with little skill makes us a very poor adversary of someone who is minimally armed, but possesses competency and skill to use what they have effectively. The same is true of fitness. The focus on our bug out bags and provisions are all for naught if we are unable to carry the pack far enough to escape whatever circumstances force us to strike out on foot. Now I am not morbidly obese by any stretch. I’m 6’3″ and roughly 350lbs as i write this, however I realize that my mobility is limited by my weight and lack of fitness and I am not in the type shape need to be to consider myself capable of the physical exertions that a survival scenario might require. I have realized that I cannot buy myself out of this or wish it away. It is a responsibility that I must make a priority and I encourage each and every person that reads this blog to take a real and honest look at where you rank your fitness and ability.
How Fit do I Need to Be?
In a perfect world we would all be as fit as professional or Olympic athletes but reality dictates otherwise. The reason professional athletes are at peak fitness levels is the same reason that the military’s elite operators such as Delta and SEAL personnel are some of the deadliest fighters ever encountered. The reason is dedication and time. As a professional, we would train for a task or event for a living. We might only be noticed on the field on a Sunday afternoon catching the winning pass just before the clock runs out in the 4th quarter, but we actually get paid for the weeks and months spent perfecting our game. Those of us who aren’t paid to maintain maximum fitness levels at all times are faced with one of the greatest detractors of personal goals, employment. Making a living necessarily takes time away from our goals so we have to plan with determination to get to a level of anything we feel is sufficient for the vast majority of the situations we expect.
To determine how fit is “fit enough” we must look at our situations. How far we would likely have to travel on foot to reach safety. How much we have to carry with us. Remember, each of us have different needs and requirements. What if we have small children with us. How far can we carry a toddler and our bag (with additional gear for his or her care)? Can we run fast enough to get to the exit of a building with a child in tow before a fire engulfs it or a riot overtakes the area? I know that I would have a difficult time with these tasks currently.
What Are Some Fitness Goals to Reach?
Focusing on weight or size isn’t nearly as important for this topic as it may be for our overall health so we will consider general health in another post. Right now I am trying to determine baseline levels and goals to reach and these may change as I go, however here are some basic fitness goals I feel I need to be able to achieve to consider myself somewhat prepared.
- Be able to hike over uneven terrain for 3 miles with my bug out bag and edc carry while carrying a rifle and support gear for it too. This doubles the duty of the exercise from just bugging out to doing defensive or offensive patrols if a situation required me to be a part of a security element. Disasters often leave areas vulnerable and somewhat cut off from normal police support. Consider part of preparedness to be staying in shape enough to help defend yourself and family/group.
- Being able to climb or pull myself up steep inclines with a pack on.
- Being able to carry 100lbs additional weight 200 yards.
- Being able to do 25 strict pushups
- Being able to do 5 Pull ups.
These may seem random and they are. I’ll have to revisit and update this entry as I get started on my journey to becoming fit enough to survive. These are the places that I see myself starting towards. They are in no way final goals or a mark of total fitness, however its a place for me to start. I encourage everyone to consider some goals for themselves then update them as they see how they progress towards the goals. Take a look at this inexpensive book for some ideas:
Special Considerations for Fitness
There may be physically limiting factors that we must prepare around. I have to consider my prior back injuries when i consider how hard to exercise or how much weight i can safely carry. We will always have hurdles to overcome as we improve ourselves and become more prepared. It has been advised by many experts in the field of mental focus that we try to see the opportunities present instead of just the problems. As we continue, I plan to address prepping with disabilities and other limiting factors.
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