Personal Fitness: The Oft Overlooked Prep – A Personal Story
It doesn’t matter how many sacks of flour and rice or cans of ammo or cases of water you have if you can’t carry them to the car in an emergency without gasping for air. What good are your home defense weapons if the mere act of grabbing your 12-gauge under stress, and running to the front door causes your heart to nearly beat out of your chest and torrents of sweat to stream down your face?
Yes, this post is about a vital prep you may be overlooking in your necessary pursuit of more ‘stuff”; Physical fitness. This subject is near and dear to me because I am an asthmatic. Some years ago, despite regularly taking my medication, I could not exert myself very much before having to stop and catch my breath. It wasn’t until I became involved in the ‘prepping mindset’ that I realized that my lack of stamina was a potential source of problems in an emergency situation.
I decided that I must improve my conditioning, to the degree that I was able to due to my medical condition. Light weight-lifting and running on a treadmill 3 times a week, and the support of a wonderful wife who did those things right along side me at a local Planet Fitness club slowly, but noticeably, began to improve my woeful physical state. Gradually, I began running longer distances and greater inclines on the treadmill and lifting greater amounts of weight. Has it helped? Well, I went from not even being able to jog slowly to the end of my block (200 yds) without stopping for a breather, to running a 5K race this morning in the South Florida heat and humidity without once stopping to catch my breath. Did I win? No. And YES! To me, completing that race (in just over 31 minutes) was the culmination of my efforts to improve my conditioning and is a source of enormous satisfaction and pride.
The moral to that story is, of course, that physical fitness is important and you can improve yours if you have the desire. A gym membership helps – and I only pay $10 monthly for my Planet Fitness membership and I highly recommend them. If you can’t afford that, walk around the block after dinner. At first just one lap, than work your way up to longer, faster laps. Sure, it’s work, but it will pay off in an emergency as much, if not more, than much of the stuff you’ve acquired.
Be safe. Be prepared.