Over at Raconteur Report, Aesop had a post about prepping with a list of very basic things you should be able to do or have on hand. Now admittedly, I have some shortcomings on this list myself, namely those involving physical fitness…but I am working to rectify those issues.
Are you at your target weight?
Can you run 2-3 miles in less than half an hour, without calling 911?
Do you do it regularly?
How far is the longest distance have you hiked in the past year?
Can you move with a full pack 10 miles over rough terrain in a day?
Did you do it in the last year?
These are things that I need to improve on, so I am. Diet and exercise have me moving in the right direction, because if I have to hoof it to the BOL I want to be able to make it there without having a heart attack or crippling myself. Fitness, or more accurately lack thereof, is one of the biggest (pun intended) issues I see in the Patriot/Prepper community. While I realize that we as a demographic tend to skew toward the older age range, I think collectively we’re doing ourselves a disservice and we need to get off our butts and get in gear.
John Mosby over at Mountain Guerrilla harps on this aspect of prepping frequently and with good cause. From the conclusion of a post he made back in January (and really, read the whole post about setting standards):
People bitch and whine all the time in the comments on this blog about my exhortations to do PT, shoot, and train. “It’s too hard!” “I’m too crippled.” “I’m too old.” “It’s cold outside.” “It’s too hot.”
That’s fine. Blame it on the environment. I don’t give a shit.
You can’t control whether it will be hard or easy. You cannot control your past injuries. You cannot control your age. You cannot control the weather. You can control your reactions to those things. If you choose to let them stop you, fine. Just accept responsibility for it. The difficulty of exercise and training, your old injuries, your age, the weather; none of those things are in your control. They cannot control you either. You, and you alone, are responsible for your actions. It’s not your age or the weather that’s stopping you from being dangerous. It’s being a whiny little bitch who wants to blame someone else for your failings that stops you from being dangerous.
Think about this next time you get winded going up a flight or stairs or walking around at the local prepper show. Think about this as you’re observing those around you that you’re counting on to be on your side when the SHTF. This doesn’t mean you have to be pre-mental illness Bruce Jenner. To quote from Mosby here:
You don’t need to be a Crossfit Games champion. You don’t need to be an Olympic decathlete, or a professional powerlifter, or any other sort of professional-level athlete.
You DO need to be strong enough to do what you need to do, and you DO need to have enough endurance to do what you need to do. How fit is fit enough? Hard to say. If we look at the instances of civilian use of firearms in personal and home defense, not very. If we start looking at other instances—say “knockout games,” and similar, being fit is certainly going to be high on the list of priorities.
Rather than taking the easy way out, and assuming the enemy will be a fat, donut-eating, pastry chef with an attitude, maybe we need to assume the enemy will be younger, stronger, faster, and fitter. If we train with the goal of being as fit as we can be, then that’s the best we can do.
So let’s get out there and do this. Eat right and do some PT. Make it both fun and useful. Go on a hike with the family. It doesn’t have to be ten miles (at least, to start). Go play some flag football and get your heart rate up. Scale to what you can do now and push the envelope a little at a time so that you get better. Go chop and split some wood…you’re planning on being able to do that after TEOTWAKI anyway, so you may as well find out how well your body can handle that activity. Get in the gym or bust out that old VHS tape of “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” that’s collecting dust in your attic. Just get your tail in shape now so that you’re ready when the time comes.
Remember: until you have proved you can actually do it within recent memory, you can’t do it.