Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

130 Chances, Day #3: Mostly Positive

July 5, 2012

Yesterday was the 4th of July, and I kept myself out of trouble mostly by working the first part of the day.  I got up, and did my workout.  It wasn’t pleasant.  I’m in that first patch of soreness where your body isn’t used to the effort *and* your muscles are tight.  I also tried something new: I added video to the routine.  Only video.  Let me explain.

A couple years ago we bought a tablet PC, like an iPad but cheaper.  I’m a computer geek (personally and professionally) and I was enamored that it was roughly half the price, but had twice as powerful hardware.  Unfortunately, it also had terrible software, and so we haven’t used it for much of anything.

One of the original ideas was to watch videos while working out on the elliptical machine, but all the big video outlets – Netflix, Hulu, Youtube – see this tablet as a “mobile device” like a phone, even though it isn’t. It can only connect to the internet through our home network, just like all our other computers. But because it *looks* like a mobile device to the Internet, the major players block a lot of content.  At the time, neither Netflix nor Hulu even supported the device, and probably still don’t.

I decided to play a little legal leapfrog here, and downloaded the entire series of Futurama from a torrent site. If you’re not familiar, I basically downloaded without paying.  However, it’s a bit of a gray area because we *have* a Netflix account that would let me watch every episode of the show on my TV upstairs. But Netflix doesn’t work on my tablet, so I’m just watching stuff I’ve already paid for the right to watch.

I’ve seen most of these episodes already, which is perfect.  I won’t be tempted to watch them at other times, but they will be interesting enough to help the time pass more quickly during workouts.  Futurama will be my workout-only treat.  Unfortunately, yesterday I got downstairs only to realize the video worked fine (like I said above), but there was no *audio* – no sound! I watched the pilot episode mostly lip-reading a cartoon (heh) and going from memory.  It still helped a little.  Later in the day, I fixed the sound issues, so tomorrow’s workout will be better.

The Food

I’m happy to say I stuck to almost all of my rules, and only fudged one.  I got my workout in, only ate during planned meals, and only drank water.  But I ate more at dinner than I should have, due to the table-wide 4th of July spread my wife put together. Lots of meat/cheese/crackers, chips and dip, etc.  Still, I think I usually did worse at my average dinners.  I also got to bed late, but not too bad.

Revised Rules

After living with the rules a couple days, I’m revising them:

  1. Work out for at least 20 minutes before anything else.
  2. High-protein or slimfast breakfast.
  3. Procure lunch before lunchtime.
  4. Stop eating dinner before you feel full.
  5. Eat no other meals.
  6. Drink nothing but water, reasonable morning coffee, and occasional alcoholic beverage.
  7. Avoid sweets, even at meals. They trigger a craving for more.
  8. Go to bed before midnight.

Based on these, I scored 6/8 for Day #3. I ate until I was full, and went to bed late.  Still a pretty good day.

Learning to Live with Hunger

September 1, 2009

Yesterday I took some time to really contemplate hunger.  As I’m trying to lose weight, I’ve realized that maybe the discomfort of slight hunger is akin to the slight discomfort from say, not having your house at the perfect temperature at all times.  People lived without air conditioning for all of history, save the last 50 years or so.  Now, we’re uncomfortable when the temperature is even a couple degrees from perfect.

I think maybe the same goes for hunger.  We live with such abundance here in America.  Even in those first shaky years of my marriage and family, when money was scarce and rent was almost always late, I was never hungry.  The idea of always eating until we’re full seems just as “given” as the idea of always controlling the temperature to within a couple degrees.

I’m starting to think this is wrong.  Defining the end of every meal as being the point of total satisfaction (and often more) is a recipe for disaster.  I see now how I got overweight.  I expected to feel “full” after every meal, and even the slightest hunger was a discomfort I was unwilling to live with.  I think if I can learn to live with even the smallest amount of hunger, I can eat much less.

My wife gives the kids as much as they want to eat.  That sounds good on the surface, but I’m starting to think it’s wrong, and will leave them as overweight as she and I have become.  Refills of sweet breakfast cereal until kids no longer desire more seems dangerous.  Perhaps just a single serving is in order.  And if the kids are really still hungry, something more nutritious(and less tasty) like toast is probably a better way to go.  If you’re really hungry, you’ll eat toast.  But it doesn’t take more than a sweet tooth to down another bowl of sugary cereal, even the varieties that are “healthier”.

This summer I did a great job of conditioning myself to live with the mild discomfort of temperature.  I didn’t use my mustang’s a/c at all, even when hopping on the interstate for 20 minutes or so meant keeping the windows rolled up.  Eventually, it didn’t even seem like discomfort at all, and I’m genuinely shocked at times when my wife needs air conditioning.  I did the same thing with physical effort, upping my daily tolerance.  Perhaps I can do the same thing with hunger.  Maybe if I’m always comfortable with a mild amount of hunger, and I accept this mentally, weight will become a non-issue.  And it’s not a bad survival skill!

Losing 25 Pounds in 75 Days

August 31, 2009
The Sandhills of Central Nebraska

The Sandhills of Central Nebraska

After a healthy break from blogging (most of the month of August) I’m back in the game.  I recently received an incredible incentive to both get in better shape, and hone my wilderness survival skills.  My dad invited me to go deer hunting with him again up in the sandhills of Nebraska!

Last year was my first time, and I remember the pain and suffering all too well.  I was overweight and out of shape (which are NOT the same thing), trying to hike dozens of miles, several hours a day.  I couldn’t keep up with my dad, a veteran of numerous marathons over the decades.  I seriously cut into his hunting that first day, and we were both glad to go our separate ways the next morning.  If you haven’t hiked sandhills before, it gives you a whole new appreciation for the guy you see in movies, lost in the desert and traversing enormous sand dunes.  It’s easily 2-3 times as difficult as hiking pleasant terrain.

As of Saturday, I weighed 300 pounds, with roughly 75 days before the hunting trip.  I’d started to drop some weight with my survival activities, but without a proper incentive my “comfy chair” in front of the TV was just too inviting.  Now I’m on a mission: to lose 25 pounds, and to log over half a million steps, before the start of the hunting trip.  That’s a pound every 3 days, and just under 7,000 steps per day on average.

Doing this, I hope to spend our 2 pre-season scouting days out in the sandhills, tracking and photographing deer for several hours a day.  I hope to be able to hike 8-10 miles a day during our three planned hunting days, never letting my fitness be a factor in bagging the best deer I can.

As I mentioned above, fitness and fatness can co-exist.  No matter how well I do the next 10 weeks, I’ll definitely be overweight for this trip.  But I don’t have to be unfit.  I can build up a great level of endurance in that time.  And if I keep up the activity after the trip, I’ll eventually lose the rest of the fat as well.

It’s been two days since the start of my challenge, and I’m down two pounds.  Weight loss is easy early on, so I plan to keep pushing and get ahead of the game.  This will buy me wiggle room during the last few weeks, when pounds will shed less easily.

Camping for Survival Preparation

July 29, 2009

As I’ve made survival preparations that include water storage, survival supplies, and surival skills, I’ve realized that the perfect way to turn them into practical experience is camping!  It’s so obvious now that I’ve figured it out.  I started out small last thursday, setting up the tent with a large inflatable mattress in the backyard.  It was the best night’s sleep I’d had in a while.  I think part of the reason is that, after setting everything up, you’re nice and tired – ready for bed!  I only had my oldest son with me.  We read one of his funnier books, laughed over cookies and milk, and called it a night around 10:30.

The next night, I tried the same thing with all three of my boys.  Partway through setup, I decided to skip the air mattress.  I wanted to see if I could really “rough it” under survival situations, and the comfy mattress seemed out of place.  Plus, it’s large and took up just too much space in my 4-man tent.  That night ended up being miserable!  I didn’t sleep very well on the ground, and the younger two boys wanted to stay up way to late playing and fighting.  When I woke up on Saturday morning, I took down the tent, ate a quick breakfast, and took an hour-long nap on my real bed.  Fail.

That afternoon, I reached out to my friends on SurvivalistBoards.com, asking for tips and experiences sleeping on the ground.  Within hours I had great advice from several experienced campers.  The most helpful for my particular situation were comments from Hick Industries, IceFire, GunGourd, and ex-hunter. They got at the core of my problem – confusing recreational camping with survival preparation.  They should be approached differently, and bedding is a good example.  IceFire even made the amazing point that in survival situations, you probably want to sleep lighter, and therefore slightly less comfortably.

So, I’m over my concern that nicer bedding isn’t “rugged” enough.  If I can thrive with small amenities like a sleeping pad and matches for fire starting, I’m still way ahead of most people.  And as ex-hunter pointed out I can always practice the harder stuff whenever I want, to build up a tolerance.

Saturday night, practice time was over.  We drove out to an actual primitive campsite.  Basically an outhouse, water pump, and fire pits were the only amenities, which was perfect.  Because it was so low-demand and low-maintenance, it was even free!  I took all three boys again. AND the mattress.  It wasn’t big enough for all of us, so I bought some foam sleeping pads from Wal-Mart, and doubled them up under the kids that slept on the ground.  They were fine with it, since it hadn’t really bothered them to sleep on the ground the night before, anyway.  It did create a space issue, the kids on the ground were too close together in a 4-man tent with a queen-sized air mattress.  I’m going to buy a larger tent soon.

I brought one of my 7-gallon water containers, which was perfect.  I prepared well, since the previous couple nights in the back yard taught me what I’d need.  There was only one gaping flaw in my plans: my cell phone was undercharged, and I ended up having to shut it off for most of the trip and only text-messaging with my wife to coordinate our pick-up time the next morning.  This was a big liability, and kept us from extending the trip well into the next day.  I’d wanted to do a longer hike, maybe even stay for lunch.  I’ll be sure to charge any electrical supplies in advance next time, and bring extra batteries for the items that use them.

Thus ended my 3-night tent streak, and I upped my number of consecutive outdoor hours from 4 to 14.  Very shortly, I plan to do a multi-day camping trip instead of just overnight visits, and then I’ll be comfortable staying outdoors indefinitely (within reason).

Variety in a Spiceless Life

July 23, 2009

My best friend and I have wondered something  for a few years now.  How could our fathers work all their lives at government jobs neither of them really liked?  We’ve examined a lot of theories.  As gen-y-ers in our early 30’s, studies have shown we’re one of the most pampered generations ever.  That’s resulted in us being really productive and creative workers, but also very high maintenance.  We constantly need to be interested and challenged by our work, or we’re unhappy.  There are other theories too, but none of them have ever helped solve the problem of why I’m an amazing guy to have on your team when the work is interesting, but I struggle a *lot* to stay focused on bland work.

I’ve come up with a new theory.

I’ve known for a long time how sanitized our lives are.  My earliest memory is not liking hand-sliced cheese on my sandwiches.  I preferred Kraft american slices – all the same shape, size, and consistency.  Same with the meat – precut to the same thickness, and a prefect fit for the square, machine-cut bread slices.

But lately, as I delve into survival mode, my understanding has grown.  Processed food is always the same, and familiarity is somehow cherished over quality.  Think of a McDonald’s hamburger – not great but always the same, always familiar.  Air conditioning means most of us are only comfortable in a very small window of temperature and humidity.  Cars mean that something 10 blocks away and something 10 miles away provide an almost identical driving experience.  We don’t value short distances, fair weather days, or a really good burger anymore because we don’t experience as wide a range of quality.

This brings me to work, and the fundamental question: why do I care so much if my job provides variety and challenge?  Because I don’t get it anywhere else in my life.  I remember growing up, my mom had a list of  “A” meals and “B” meals, and we planned dinners with only 2 or3 “A” meals a week for budget reasons.  Now I only eat meals I really like, and there are fewer of them.  Good meals are now standard, and common.

We used to get variety and challenge out of our actual lives, not where we spend 40 hours a week to pay the bills.  The spice of life came from a sunny day with a cool breeze, or when the place you needed to visit was within walking distance, or it was taco night.  Bottom line, we’re asking too much of our jobs.  It’s time to let work be work, and challenge ourselves on our own time.  Enjoying what you do is still important, but be thankful for the boring.  It makes the interesting stuff all the sweeter.

Building Survival Fitness from a Rut

July 21, 2009

I made a commitment to get 5,000 steps in every day this week, no matter what.  The first test came tonight, after staying home all day and only having 1,300 steps counted.  The good news is that it feels like a plan, a routine.  I felt “commited” because this was the first time that the only reason I was exercising was to meet a rule I’d laid down for myself.  It’s easy to exercise when you feel like it, or to tack on extra steps throughout the day.  This was different, and better because I was exercising my will power at the same time.

It’s not all roses, though.  At nearly 300 pounds, I realize I’m in a fitness rut.  I define a rut as any situation where the further you dig yourself in, the less able you are to get out.  Like getting in shape – the more out of shape I am, the less active I’m able to be.  It’s the same for a financial rut where your problem is directly hurting your means to solve it.

If I have $10,000 in credit card debt, I can shore up extra money – maybe just $50 a month – and start paying down one card.  When that card is paid off, suddenly I have $150 a month to put toward paying off the next debt, and so on.  I think experts call it a debt snowfall, or something similar.  It’s the same for fitness.  I will leverage my current, meager abilities into more fitness, which I will reinvest into even better conditioning.

From here I rise.

Weekly Survival Goals

July 20, 2009

This is my third posting today – excessive, I know.  But I’ve decided to start a regular thing called Weekly Goals, and it only seems right to start it on a Monday!  Every Monday I’ll post five goals related to survival that I want to accomplish by the end of the week.  Then I’ll go out and try to accomplish them.  I’ll probably fail a lot, so that might amuse you if you’re amused by that sort of thing.

Each week, I’ll review how I handled my last set of goals before outlining my new ones.  Since this is the first post and I don’t have a previous week’s survival goals, I’ll review my progress on my overall goals so far:

  1. Defense. I’ve spent the most time, money, and effort on this one.  That’s not a great investment, since it offers the least likely payout for the greatest expense.  So if anything, I’ve done too much.  That being said, I’m proud of what I’ve done!
    1. I bought a handgun (Glock 21SF, .45 caliber).
    2. I took a basics class to learn how to use it.
    3. I got an annual membership to my local shooting range.
    4. I practiced getting the gun out of the safe and loading it in the middle of the night, which I can now do in under 17 seconds.
    5. My target shooting was good to start (thanks to rifle/shotgun experience), but now I’m much better.
    6. I’ve registered for my Concealed Carry course.
    7. I’ve built up a good stock of ammo.
    8. I got my NRA membership.
  2. Disaster Preparation. I got my Red Cross certifications in First Aid, Adult CPR, and Child/Infant CPR.  I tried to register for CERT training, but they don’t have any courses scheduled in my area any time soon.  I hope to volunteer for the Red Cross locally, sometime soon.  I’ve stored 56 gallons of purified drinking water for emergencies, and put together an Altoids survival tin.  This goal has been pretty well on target.
  3. Fitness. I’ve totally horked this one.  I’d planned to lose more weight by now, but late night munchies have killed this.  On the plus side, I am getting more physically able, even if my appearance isn’t changing.  I can hike 8 miles, and my short-term walking pace has improved from 1,000 steps every ten minutes to 1,000 steps in just eight.
  4. Education. I’ve been reading a lot, from survival manuals from british survivalists like John Wiseman and Ted Wright to American Rifleman magazine, which I receive with my NRA membership and read cover to cover.  I just picked up the U.S. Military Pocket Survival Guide and The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide.
  5. Random. My last goal every week will either be from one of the four categories above at random, or possibly something totally unrelated.  I want to be sure I get something from every category every week, but I also might have something important that doesn’t neatly fit.  This week, it’s cleaning.  You can see a picture of my side of the bed, below.  It’s messy, and that’s what I’d have to stumble through in the middle of the night – twice – to get the safe key and return to the gun safe under the bed.  My car’s trunk is much the same way, and should I ever need to fill it quickly, the mess would get in the way.  I’ll clean both this week.

That’s my assessment of my progress so far.  Now for this next week’s goals.  They don’t need to be big, but I need to be doing something in each area.

  1. Defense. Buy another 200 rounds of ammo to replace what I’ve spent at the range, and add to my surplus.
  2. Disaster Preparation. Review CPR procedures, and be able to mime the entire process from memory.
  3. Fitness. Lose 2 pounds, walk over 5,000 steps a day, no matter what.  Drink only skim milk.  No pop, no desserts.
  4. Education. Read the preface and first two chapters of the U.S. Military Pocket Survival Guide.

Let’s see how I do.

My Red Cross Certification in First Aid and CPR

July 11, 2009

Ten Years Ago

I briefly had a job that required me to take CPR and First Aid training and certification from the American Red Cross.  I remember it vividly.  There I was, one of only two attractive 20 year olds in a room full of older, out of shape students.  The other sat across the room: a cute, petite girl named April.

When the intstructor mentioned pairing up with practice partners, I think April and I had the same thought.  If we were going to have to go lip-to-lip with a stranger, it should be with each other.  We quickly paired up.  As it turned out, we used plastic dummies for mouth-to-mouth practice.  Darn.

I remember very little from the training itself.

Yesterday

I once again sat in a Red Cross classroom.  Much like last time, it was filled with people looking to fill a work requirement.  Unlike last time, nobody was making me take this class.  I paid for it myself, and the little cards they hand out as you pass the tests were merely decorative.  I was after the knowledge, to help my family and others in times of emergency.

Lucky for me, this training was a lot more extensive than what I’d had a decade ago.  We spent a lot of time practicing on those dummies in adult, child, and infant size.  We went through several 2-minute drills of CPR, making sure we learned the entire cycle, and how to adapt to the situation at hand.  I can now recognize if an unconscious person got that way by choking, and what to do about it.  Nine hours later, I held my three new certifications:

These are my certifications for First Aid, Adult CPR, and Child/Infant CPR.

These are my certifications for First Aid, Adult CPR, and Child/Infant CPR.

The First Aid certification is good for a full three years, and I completely understand why.  There’s very little somebody like me can do in a serious first aid situation.  It amounts to calling 911 as soon as possible, and keeping the person alive until they get there.  While the same is true for CPR, the process is much more complex.  Diagnosis of the problem is trickier, and so is the course of action.  You’re still just buying time until professional help arrives, but seconds count.  Accordingly, CPR certifications, which are broken down into Adult and Child/Infant, are for one year only.

I don’t consider myself a medic by any stretch, but I’m proud of being one step closer.  I’m thinking of volunteering with the Red Cross, which can get you more training for free, and real-life experience.  I also noticed their web site lists “wilderness first aid”.  That sounds like a winner!

Survival Training and Memberships, Part 4: Research

July 7, 2009

As part of becoming a survivalist, I realized there are a couple things everyone can do to train for the worst and improve their odds.  So far, I’ve uncovered four categories: Defense, Medical, Fitness, and Research.  I’ll tell you about my experiences so far, and what I have planned for the near future.  This is Part 4, Research.

The more I read in books or online, the more videos I watch, and the more I absorb survival info, the more I realize that I’ve done one of two things.  Either I was smart, and saved the best for last in this four part series, or I’m dumb for not making research the number one priority from the start.  Let’s go with saving the best for last 🙂

If I had to sort the four categories in order of importance, I’d move research to the front, and leave the rest as-is.  Knowledge is the most powerful weapon in the survivalist’s arsenal, no matter what the challenge.  What types of plants are edible?  How do you make rope in the wild?  How do you provide shelter, catch/harvest food, or coax water  from a desert?  Tools can be improvised, fitness can be replaced by know-how (within reason) and even medical skills are just a combination of tools and knowledge.  Every other category can, to an extent, be replaced by some survival knowledge and you’ll survive long enough to make up the difference.

The first book I read on this journey was Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss.  It was nothing short of amazing.  While I don’t agree with his Bush-bashing or gushing optimism for the Obama presidency, it was amazing to see the transformation that took place in the author over eight years.  I don’t want to ruin the book for anyone, but suffice to say he morphs from clueless, to scared, to prepared for escape, and finally to something better altogether.  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

The books I’ve been interested in have been surprisingly hard to find.  If you have a Half Price Books in your area, they’re a great local resource for cheap books.  Their travel section will contain any books they have by survivalists who have braved interesting locations, and their sports section will have hiking/camping sections that may have what you’re looking for.  That being said, it’s incredibly frustrating to walk into their stores with a list of half a dozen books, as I did, and not have anyone who can tell you if any of them are in stock.  It’s even more frustrating to have to find out for yourself, shelf by shelf, that they’re not.

Of course, the big box stores aren’t much better.  Both Barnes & Noble, and Borders (which both let you check inventory from the web) don’t actually have most of the more popular books in stock!  I’m willing to pay full price for these, and they don’t have them.  Luckily, I did find two items at Half Price Books that I like.

Outdoor Survival by John “Lofty” Wiseman is a version of his famous SAS Survival guides, tailored to the general public.  You have to wade through some unfamiliar british terms, but the book is geared toward beginners and non-military. It’s a reference manual, with straightforward instructions on starting fires, catching food, purifying water, etc.  This book is largely about surviving in the wild, whether the world as we know it has come crashing down, or you’re just on a weekend camping trip with the family.

I’m also reading Wright’s Complete Disaster Survival Manual by Ted Wright.  This is more of a narrative, talking about the author’s experiences, and relating them to disaster survival almost in storybook fashion.  It has great advice, and deals more with urban survival during disasters.  this book is more about doomsday preparation, although he focuses on natural disasters.

Most people think of survival preparation as something conspiracy nuts do to prepare for armageddon.  The more I learn, the more I realize this is just a very unfortunate misconception.  Everybody should have a basic level of preparation, and be able to live without modern amenities – at least for a short while.  Most modern amenities are the result of electricity, water, and possibly natural gas being piped directly into our homes.  It doesn’t take much to disrupt any of these things.

I plan to continue reading and researching, and strengthening the most important tool in my arsenal; my knowledge.

Survival Training and Memberships, Part 3: Fitness

July 6, 2009

As part of becoming a survivalist, I realized there are a couple things everyone can do to train for the worst and improve their odds.  So far, I’ve uncovered four categories: Defense, Medical, Fitness, and Research.  I’ll tell you about my experiences so far, and what I have planned for the near future.  This is Part 3, Fitness.

I make no secret about my current level of survival fitness.  I weigh almost 300 pounds, and in a survival or disaster situation, this would be a huge (pun intended) liability.  I made a really good attempt to lose weight a couple years ago, and I lost 45 pounds as a result.  But I made the mistake of running a really long race, and afterward I needed a week of recovery time.  That week turned into a years-long vacation that only ended a few weeks ago.

I’m starting my current fitness effort the same way I did back then, with two differences.  First, I’m approaching this from a survival point of view.  The faded glory of that one great accomplishment, the race, is long gone.  I even gained back all the weight I’d lost, plus five pounds.  The slap in the face is that at the end of the race, I was one of the last finishers and they’d run out of medals.  Must have been an omen.  The second difference is that I’m in this for the long haul (survival is a lifetime pursuit, heh), and won’t let my daily regimen get too difficult to maintain.

All that said, I’m basically starting the same – by walking.  My recent 8 mile survival hike was sort of a baseline, after just a couple weeks of elevated walking.  I wear a step counter (pedometer) at all times, and I know that without trying, I average only 1,500 steps a day.  I work a desk job, which doesn’t help.  I’ve ramped up to walking 3-4 times that much every day.

I started by looking at the opportunities that exist without even leaving my house.  I have a large yard, and if I mow it the good way (overlapping 50% on each pass) it takes an hour and a half.  If I split the front and back yards into separate mowing days, I get about 3,000 extra steps each of those days.  I’ve also tried to be more diligent about taking out the trash more often, getting the baby, and even cleaning.  Those chores add up.

Next, I’ve started walking more with my family.  I’m using the opportunity to impart some survivalist training to my young boys while we’re at it.  They’re learning to read simple maps of the neighborhood to tell me where we need to turn next to reach out destinations.  It’s fun, and quality time.

Finally, as a last resort, I insert solitary walking time into my day.  I’ve figured out I walk about 1,000 steps every 10 minutes.  It’s crazy, I can double my usual amount of steps in a day, simply by walking 15 minutes.  That’s why it’s so easy to find 30-45 minutes a day to squeeze in that extra walking, and average around 5,000 steps.

The goal is to eventually get to about 10,000 steps a day.  It’s a big effort, and last time around I ended up eventually jogging those workouts because you get your steps in faster, and it’s the natural evolution in fitness training.  I just need to keep the focus on survival training, and that means striving for longer distances (walking or jogging) instead of faster times.  It also means that no matter how much running I start to do, hiking will need to remain as a staple of my workouts.

I have a good mid-term goal in mind.  Last winter I finally went deer hunting with my dad, after years of not being able to coordinate schedules.  Last year was brutal – hours a day of trekking through the Nebraska Sandhills left me out of breath and almost unable to continue more than once.  I want to be able to put in a good 4-8 hours of hiking per day to get the most out of the trip.  I want to be able to track a trophy buck for miles without tiring.  The advantage of hunting mule deer is that they only run until danger is out of sight, so if you’re in good shape you can make multiple attempts to approach the same animal until you succeed.

I hope that one day I’ll be in good enough shape that the name Chubby Survivalist will seem like a misnomer to people who didn’t know me before.