Fitness has been apart of my life off and on since high school. In high school, I played football and basketball. As with most things, there is a lot more that goes into it than just the sport; you have conditioning and weightlifting.
I got into racing dirtbikes. The racing that I did was racing hare scrambles, which is a 2 to 3-hour race on a dirt bike in some pretty gnarly terrain. While I was racing, I got into endurance training and was in even better shape.
After I stopped racing is when the beer drinking started. I lived on my own, and I didn’t have anything to work for, so I just drank and ate like crap. I continued to eat and drink like that after I got married. I remember being 275 pounds; I was miserable; I wouldn’t say I liked how I felt or looked.
Then my wife and I started to do something about it. We both started exercising and eating better. We both tried several different types of exercise. We tried weightlifting, cross-fit, and random other things. The one that stuck was running.
I get it; I used to hate running too. And it sucked at first. But then, I got to a point I could control my breathing. Running almost felt like a form of meditation. I could run and feel the peace. ( runners high is a real thing). Well, we both got to where we could run pretty decent, so we decided to sign up for a half marathon.
I trained all summer for it and felt good the day of. About six miles in, I felt a pop in my knee… Leading up to this point, I already had two scope surgeries on it. So when I felt that pop, I was heart broken. I finished the race run-walking but was in quite a bit of pain.
After the half marathon, I couldn’t run, so I didn’t exercise consistently. I felt lost; I couldn’t find something that made me feel the way running did. I couldn’t find that meditation in any other form of exercise.
I ended up having another scope on my knee, and it would need a bone graft. The bone graft had a lengthy recovery period and required me to be nonweight bearing for months. So before I had my bone graft surgery, I promised myself that I would get into shape. I would do what I could do in the weight room, even though I couldn’t walk. I made a promise to myself, even though I couldn’t walk at the time, “I will become the strongest mentally and physically stronger than I ever have been. I was going to become an endurance beast.
Yet, I still struggled. I felt like I didn’t have anything to work for. No goal. I had nothing driving me to become better. So I stayed pretty inconsistent.
While I was laid up with my knee, I had watched a lot of hunting shows. I learned that there is a massive correlation between mountain hunting and fitness (As there should be. It’s incredibly challenging). So this got me thinking about incorporating fitness and chasing whitetails with my bow.
So I found a couple of guys on Instagram, Joel Burham (whitetail fit) and John Dudley (nock on), who have one hell of a fitness regime and bow hunt whitetails, and I started to follow them. They inspired me to find the discipline to exercise and better myself to chase whitetails in the fall.
Most of the time the people do not think of deer hunting as correlating to fitness. Because 90% percent of the time, you walk 500 yards and climb into a stand. Sit and wait. Well. I started to get bored with that. I wanted to find my drive in fitness again through hunting.
My goal for this drive is to harvest a mature buck. With my recurve bow, on the ground. I want to sneak into the deers’ bedroom, and I want to see what it feels like to be the ultimate predator. Hunting this way is one of the most challenging ways to harvest a deer there is.
It is going to take me to be at the top of my game mentally and physically. So I got a framed pack. And have been filling it up as full as I can get it and walking as far as I can. I’ve been lifting again, and more importantly, I have been doing something that sucks every day. Something that pushes me physically and mentally. Something to better me every day.
I’m excited to spend the year putting the work in by scouting areas and learning as much as possible. So I can accomplish what few have done. Throughout everything, I was reminded I have a little boy watching and following my every move. I want him to grow up wanting to accomplish goals, big or small, and work hard every day. So let’s all get off the couch a little more and get moving, and let us show our next generations how to work hard for what they want.