The problem with reading and writing about military history, is that you come across all kinds of incredible accounts of super-fit human beings doing extraordinary things, like marching mile upon mile carrying a small house, or scaling mountains.
You cannot help but be impressed. But then, you look down at your own bulging gut, and think, surely this is a bit hypocritical? How many slices of carrot cake or chocolate biscuits does it take, before you’re too fat too talk about the ten mile march into Arnhem without looking like a practical joke?
And thats not the only problem. I come from a family of runners. My younger brother only yesterday ran 10 miles in just over 59 minutes. My Dad used to run up and down Butser Hill for fun. And when I stuggle running for the bus without coughing and spluttering, I tend to stand out as the black sheep of the family.
So I’ve decided to start living what I read, and get myself fit and healthy. And I reckon if you follow the example of the men who are fit enough to fight, then you can’t go far wrong. I’ve got hold of a couple of good books, The British Army Official Fitness Guide, and Fighting Fit by Adrian Weale.
So for the past week or so I’ve been running every other night, round the block. Humble beginnings, I know, but you can’t overdo it. The idea is to ever so gradually increase the distance. And aside from running, the odd swimming session might be on the cards too. And I’ve always had a liking for getting out in the countryside and stretching my legs, even more so with a ruksack, tent and a stove. I love the thought of having a crack at hills like Pen-Y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons.
Its already had a knock on effect on my diet. When you’re exercising regularly, you’re less likely to eat junk, cos you know you’ll be letting yourself down. And as a vegi-phobe and a sugar junkie, thats a real test. But the exercise does have other benefits – you sleep much better, and you feel more alive throughout the day.
Stay tuned for regular updates on Operation Get Fit 2010……!