Thursday, October 7, 2010

Weekend fun

So I was in California last weekend (hence the lack of updates ... red eye flights are killer) in the middle of a redwood forest meeting with some friends.  Absolutely beautiful.  All in all I had a great weekend but I just wish I had gotten more drunk - the booze out there is so cheap!!

However, the food is more expensive.

Anyway, this weekend I'm participating in a "Warrior Dash" event which is sadly not as booze-laden than I originally thought. Either way, it's been a good excuse for me to really focus in working out towards a goal. Working out has for a while been somewhat of a difficult thing for me until about two years ago. It mostly revolved around having the inspiration to do so. Eventually I got pretty sick of being overweight and out of shape, and goaded on by a breakup I sort of had a paradigm shift in thinking about working out. Since then I've been running at least twice a week, and lifting around 3 times a week.

The survival thing has also helped by being an impetus for working out. If you're stranded downtown with a short period of time to escape, could you run three miles? Five?   If you were trapped under rubble or something fallen, could you lift it off yourself? off a friend? If you needed to climb over a wall or climb up a tree to see an area, can you do a pull-up?

These are simple physical feats that surprisingly few people these days seem to have. In addition to simply looking good and having more self-confidence, being in shape is critical if you're interested at all in survivalism. Its one thing to have a gun, or a bug out bag but if you can't travel long distances with either then having them in the first place is somewhat moot.

Supposing a Coronal Mass Ejection hits Earth. Every single unshielded electronic on the planet is out. Your car doesn't start, but you're downtown at work. Are you going to be able to hike the 10 miles out to your house to your go-bag, then hike another 10 the next day to escape the now lawless city? Can you outrun others seeking to rob or harm you?

I work in part to be a step above the average person, above my friends so I can help them if i need to. And fitness comes in handy, often. I ran out of gas once about 3 miles from a station, out of cell phone range with no one around. 50 minutes later I was driving happily away after I jogged to the gas station with a water bottle, filled it up and jogged back to the car.

Getting into a workout routine most people just try to dive in and go crazy - and crazy they go! They work out too hard, and are sore for a week which discourages them to continue it. Ultimately they stop working out.  The key to becoming active in fitness, I've found, is to ease slowly into it. If you do 10 pushups and think you can do another 20 ... do 5 more (15 total, half of 30) and slowly ease into things. If you feel you can run a mile, run half a mile, etc etc.

Additionally a lot of people get sort of daunted by all of the big machines at the gym, or cant afford a machine.  Machines are nice, but aren't really necessary. In reality all you need is a pair of gym shoes, and a pullup bar.  Various types of Pullups, Pushups, and Crunches mixed with running around your neighborhood are simple and easy enough to do, and easy enough to work into your daily routine. I started by putting a pullup bar in my bedroom door frame - every morning when I woke up I just did as many pullups as I could, then dropped down and did the same with pushups.  Both pushups and pullups are nice, compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups, and promote general strength.  A good start to any fitness.

In the future i may get more into my personal workout routine, for those who are already active.


  1. Definitely plus on working out. However, I can't agree with going slow to avoid soreness. i live for that moment, it gives me a high thinking 'YES' I managed to work out hard enough to get sore. I pushed myself to my limit and I'm going to keep pushing that limit further.

    P.S. If you want to jumpstart into something that requires few weights, P90X. Amazing 1hr workouts.

  2. I second the p90x, thats what I am doing right now, and I LOVE it! Its tough but you see results, and I love doing something everyday, makes me feel really accomplished!

  3. Pull ups are my favourite excercise!

  4. sit ups, pull ups, and push ups.

    own body weight ftw

  5. i need to start exercising myself. spending all my free time in front of a screen can't be good for me :p

  6. I should have mentioned - I've done the p90x program 3 times so far :P