Sunday, July 23, 2017

Getting Ready for Elk Season


If there were ever anyone who hated exercise more than me, I am not sure I have ever met them. Perhaps it is because they are sitting on a couch somewhere and our paths have not crossed. One year a few years ago, I gave up for lent - exercise. It is one of the few sacrifices that I actually succeeded in throughout the entire Lenten season.  

But I do believe that we are supposed to give up something  as a sacrifice, and for me giving up exercise is no sacrifice. So I suppose that was frowned upon by the church and God himself. Therefore I resolved to make a new years resolution. Like most I seldom make resolutions knowing I will have it broken before the groundhog sees his shadow. But a few years back i made the New Years resolution to - "exercise no more than necessary to sustain life." Outside of breathing and digestion, there was not much more I could do. I even told my doctor this past January during my annual physical that I intended to keep my steps down to below one thousand a day. 

With all of these devices monitoring my steps, I feel intruded on. I do not want to know how much exercise I am doing without actually exercising. Since when did walking count as exercise? Does that mean walking to the bathroom is exercise? What about walking to the refrigerator? Ambling over to the cooler for another 'cold one'? Is that exercise also? If so, count me in! If not - well I am not a fan. 

Sure I like to be in shape, and I tell my children I plan on living another fifty years - (I am 53 now) so that puts me over the century mark by a bit. If I wear myself out now, I will never make it. These bones and muscles have a ways to go, so overdoing it will put me in the shop sooner than I plan. 

Alas, then comes the mail, where inside the mailbox is an envelope with a Colorado elk tag inside. My group drew our tags this year. While many would be excited about this, I am somewhat conflicted. I am excited we drew, I just hoped it would be a few years before I drew so I would have more time to get ready. But I have procrastinated too long as it is. We leave in a mere 10 weeks. For an overweight half-centurion ten weeks is not enough time to prepare. I did this hunt a few years ago and spent six months preparing and was vastly under prepared. Now here I am again, going a month later and just now beginning to prepare. 

Which involves, yes, exercising. After a few trips to the high elevation of the Rockies, I can assure you. Living at an elevation of 800 feet - and hunting at an elevation of 10,000 feet. There is no way to prepare for the change. The first two days will kick your butt. But if I do nothing, the whole trip is a waste of money. Walking for ten plus miles a day at high elevation is difficult when you are prepared. It is impossible if you are not. 

My regimen is simple. I put on the boots I will be hunting in and I begin to walk. I do not walk on the road or trail, I walk on uneven ground through the woods and old logging roads. It is a rough couple of weeks. Getting into elk shape is not easy. But what I do now will pay huge dividends when I get to Colorado. Here is my training plan for the next two and a half months -  numbers equal miles walked per day. 

Week one plain clothes -  5, 3, 5, 3, 5, 3, 8  
Week two - empty pack -  5, 3, 5, 5, 3, 3,10 
Week three - 20 lb pack - 3, 5, 5, 3, 5, 5,10 
Week four - 30 lb pack -   3, 5, 5, 3, 6, 3,10 
Week five: 20 lb pack -     5, 5, 5, 7, 7, 5,10
Week six  20 lb pack -       5, 7, 7, 8, 8, 5,12 
Week seven: 50 lb pack     3, 3, 5, 3, 5, 3, 5
Week eight: 20 lb pack -    5, 6, 8, 10, 10, 5, 5
Week nine:  20 lb pack -    5, 5, 8, 5, 10, 5, 5, 
Week ten:  HUNT

This is only if the weather cooperates. Today it is 102, so i will probably walk later and cut it down some to keep from dying. 

Drawing a tag is only one step in the picture of big game hunting. If you cannot get to where the animals are, there is no reason to even go. Send the time to get into shape










No comments:

Post a Comment