Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Training for Hunting Season: What Happens When You Get Bored?

You get out of hunting what you put into it. I believe you can get the most out of a hunting season by putting in plenty of archery practice and training your body for whatever will come at you. You can't just show up on opening day and expect to feel as good as you do when sitting on the couch. Am I right?

This is what our family walks look like prior to elk season.

For months I have been training my body. Running, biking, lifting, shooting my bow (yes, that's working your body, too), and hiking with heavy weight on my back. My endurance level has been up, I felt confident, and with Colorado less than two months away I felt great. Like any other person on the planet, I have my weak points and last month was mine. I still worked out, but I didn't have the drive like I normally do and I didn't feel like eating as well as I have been. I was burnt out, bored, and needed a change. I didn't push myself as hard and I just wanted to slow down. Big mistake on my part.

In order to change it up I began practicing different things. Instead of just shooting my bow straight on at the target, I began shooting at angles. That way I could get a feel for putting an arrow behind the ribs of an animal. The archery practice feels good, but how could I improve my training and not be bored? I have to thank my wife for this one. She mentioned, unbeknownst to her that I was bored, that we should start taking family walks before dinner. She takes my daughter out for long walks and gets some great exercise. What a great idea! We'd like to go after dinner, but there are too many crazy drivers who don't pay attention to pedestrians, especially at night. I thought going for a walk was a great idea and I knew I could include my Badlands Ox loaded with sandbags as resistance. Then my mind began to play with me. Ah, just go for fun. It'll be tough. Blah, blah, blah. Screw that I said, and I invited the challenge and hefted the loaded pack onto my shoulders. My wife asked if three miles was too much. I said we could go further if she wanted to. So we did! 

For the past few days we have been walking around our neighborhood and it's been great. Sure, my legs hurt from walking 4.5 miles with 90-100# of sand on my back, but it's all worth it. I get to spend time with my girls, see my neighborhood, and get some great leg exercise in. It's a start to getting my mind trained, too. I can work hard, stay focused, and enjoy myself. Colorado is a test that will be here soon and I am studying hard to pass with an A+!

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