Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fitness And The Aging Huntress

As I fast approach the the half century mark, I am curious as to how one maintains their fitness levels? Perhaps this is not a fun subject, that of aging. Though it is reality if we live long enough. Personally, my younger years were spent competing in alpine skiing which is not the best sport for knees. That is if you want to have good knees when you're older. I have had my share of surgeries, resulting in learning to adjust my fitness goals for the long haul.

So the question arises, what types of exercises, frequency, and intensity do you participate in to be ready for the upcoming hunting season? I understand that fitness is more about a "lifestyle" and incorporating exercise into your weekly routine on a year round basis. Somewhere between laundry, groceries, work, family, social gatherings, vacations, kids, spouses and the list goes on. My point being, it isn't that easy to find time for working out with all of life's duties, obligations and commitments. One of the perks is that it takes less time for a workout as I get older. That's just the facts and it's really o.k. Learning to accept ones limitations is quite beneficial. No more pushing through the pain and impressing . . .Who? What? Why? I can give myself a pat on the back for being kind to myself and having a good quality workout, without damaging my body.

I see opportunities much closer at hand than when I was younger. I don't feel that I have to trudge 12 miles in, to find my Buck and haul it out alone. You learn to see things differently and your experiences as a youth give new awareness to opportunities much closer to camp. Lending truth to the age old adage of "the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence".

As for waterfowl hunting, I am able to make 1 trip to carry my decoys, ground blind and shotgun to where I will be for the day. Not making multiple trips packing gear certainly adds to the enjoyment of the experience. Most of the time during early season waterfowl, I "rough hunt", carrying no more than the essentials for the day. Relying on the habitat for camouflage and having done my homework studying flight patterns and times.

I know when it comes right down to it, there's nothing better than walking for fitness. I was amazed at how I " leaned out" during the 7 days I was Elk hunting last Fall. Believe me, I packed plenty of food and munched along the way. Just sustaining a moderate pace throughout the day is a real calorie burner. For obvious reasons you are thrilled to be in the field again with gun in hand. There is so much activity and experience to take in, and the time passes quickly. So the miles you cover are not as noticeable as being indoors sweating in one spot. The treadmill and stationary bike are dismal substitutes for being in the field.

Please let me know what your physical preparation is for the Fall hunting season. Do you load your pack and go for a hike, simulating packing out your big Buck? Or running, weights, kayak, etc. etc. And if there is a way to enjoy sweating in one spot, please share your secret with me. I will be forever indebted to you!

The above photo was taken in 1988 during my cross country bike trip. This was the "high point" of the trip. Myself and 2 new friends took a side trip through Cook City and over Beartooth Pass (Absaroka Mtns.) down to Red Lodge and into Billings Mt., where we rejoined the rest of our group. If you want to read more about that adventure, let me know and I can mix it in. Otherwise, stay cool and drink lots of water.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt


Tom Sorenson said...

Maybe I really shouldn't share my secret to how I prepare for elk hunting in Hell's Canyon...but here goes. I don't prepare. Yikes! The cat's out of the bag! I used to live a very active lifestyle between playing sports and working on the farm. I don't live that active of a lifestyle anymore, but enough that I don't usually feel too bad during an elk hunt. I still do a few hikes into alpine lakes in the summer, but I wouldn't say I'm getting ready for Fall hunting as much as I'm going fishing in an alpine lake! I buck a little hay once in a while and try to just maintain a healthy lifestyle - and usually I end up fairing alright come fall. But I probably don't have any room to talk as I'm still 25 years time will come!

Terry Scoville said...

Tom, all I can say is enjoy and appreciate your fitness and youth. Seems the older I get the more I appreciate my health and the ability to do what I do. All mind you, the older I get the faster I was! LOL

Anonymous said...

I think preparing and knowing how fit you are is so important. I talk about that a lot because I know a hunter who died of a heart attack on a winter hunt. He wasn't fit enough and his heart couldn't handle the strain.

Since my recent health issues, I'm working on getting fitter myself. Walking is great exercise and is very low impact.

Blessed said...

Well, I'm trying to get in shape - I just need to find, no make that, make the time to get out and walk like I used to.

Right now I'm too heavy - if I lost 20 pounds I'd feel a lot better, if I lost 40 I'd feel good about myself! I'm not obese but I have gained about 5 pounds a year since I've been married (almost 9 years now) and I'm uncomfortable. I am eating better and have quit gaining weight now if I can just start loosing it...

Terry Scoville said...

Let Lil' Sugar be your guide, baby steps and one day at a time. You'll get there!

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