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The Most Important Prep Item is Often the Most Overlooked

Updated: Sep 3, 2022

It seems like there’s quite a few stacks of “bullets, beans, and and band-aids” nowadays. The problem is that far too often these preparations ignore the most important item of all: yourself and your level of fitness. The next time you find yourself at a gun show or rally, look around at who is attending. Many of them are either overweight or nowhere close to being in shape. Yet, they will go on forever with detailed plans to fight off tyranny when the time comes. The harsh reality is that their fast-food physique has close to zero percent chance of being able to carry any of the goods or gear they have stashed away. Simply stated, since they’d literally die trying to quickly move a mile with all their gear, they actually just enjoy walking around to show it off and talk about it.

This crowd is probably a good estimation of the population who will be trying to survive and succeed, just like you. Yep, these are the people who you might have to stand with given a total breakdown of law and order. Your recon unit consistently chose cheeseburgers and chips; but their beer guts are perfect rifle-rests, so it’s not a total loss. Endless squawking about thwarting tyranny without a single thought to their ability to carry out simple manual tasks when the time comes. They are of little use to themselves and those around them. The reality is that their lack of even basic attention to health and fitness quickly becomes a dangerous liability.

Those who truly want to be effective in any situation understand that they can’t help anyone until their own house is in order. They also understand that for that to happen, the priority must be what they see in the mirror. How far can they run until they are too exhausted to continue? How much gear can they carry for at least a few miles? What level of usefulness will they be when the time comes? Will they be able to walk the talk?

For most people, personal health and fitness is very underrated. It is never too early to start asking yourself questions about your own readiness? When was the last time I walked for exercise? When was the last time it was more than 5 or 10 miles? When was the last time it involved hills instead of neighborhood blocks? When was the last time I stretched prior to exercise? When was the last time I consistently paid attention over time to the food I eat and its impact on waistline?

Attention to personal health is not as glamorous as walking around with a Gucci Glock on your hip or showing off a ridiculously accessorized $3,000 AR rifle. When the pipedream bus parks on Reality Street, many who thought they were ready will find they were never even close. Health and fitness were the unsung hero of success and survival; not the time they spent in a chair shopping online for gear they still can’t effectively use.

Perhaps the delay for many is just not knowing how to begin. Health and fitness doesn’t have to be difficult. The best way is to start with one thing that needs to change. When it becomes habit, keep that change and introduce another. The time and effort commitment now returns both short-term and long-term benefits. Some of the basics are:

  • Start by drinking a half gallon of water per day and increase over time. Don’t overdo it though! Excessive water intake without appropriate nutrition is a free ticket to an intensive care unit. Use water consumption goals as a prerequisite to drinking something else that, in large quantities will kill lab rats and in humans move the scale up, not in a good way. If you can, kick to the curb sugar/calorie filled beverages.

  • Start walking a few times a week. Start within your ability to not hurt so bad the next few days that you can’t continue regularly. Gradually increase time and difficulty (graduate to hiking, etc). If the body-fat fairy keeps regular company, don’t start by trying to run a 5k through your neighborhood.

  • Exercise should become a mixture walking/running (cardio) with resistance training (weight lifting). The ability to endlessly walk around a neighborhood won’t do much good when the need arises to carry equipment. Strength training will build a body capable of utilizing equipment to full potential.

  • When it comes to food, protein is the king of improvement over time. When it is time to eat, protein should be consumed first, followed by dietary fat-heavy options, then fruits/vegetables. You’ll be less likely to overeat due to feeling full faster. Your exercise program will use protein to build strength and endurance. Training without adequate protein intake is like placing your nest egg into an investment that guarantees no return.

Basic attention to water, food, and exercise on a consistent basis will pay off in both the short and long term. Prioritizing health and fitness is not the same thing as obsession. The other elements of preparation are still important. The difference will be how lifestyle changes impact those other areas of preparation. When you feel better, move better, and have better focus, you’ll prepare to encourage your health and fitness goals. They become inseparable. The result will be someone ready for whatever comes; someone who can walk the talk. Not everyone can operate the base radio station from a chair or stand watch with a rifle rested on a beer gut. Decide what level of success you desire to accomplish, aim high, and start with building fundamental changes… today. Stop neglecting the single most important item of preparation in your toolset: you and your health and fitness.

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