Saturday, 26 May 2007

Ultimate Fitness

Picture - I said I would climb a mountain and I did! Top of Pigne d'Arolla Swiss Alps. I'm far right looking a bit weird but funnily enough I wasn't thinking about how I looked at the time. One of the instructors said it might help to walk slower on the ascent, I said if I went any slower I'd stop, which was about the sum of getting up there.

Ultimate Fitness
Why should it just be the Armed Forces and Athletes who get to be Ultimately Fit? In the past an outdoor lifestyle was rigorous enough to make people extremely fit - think of Mountain Men. Unless you're an explorer or adventure sports enthusiast there is little motivation to have a fitness goal let alone maintain fitness over and above the requirements for using the remote control, computer and the microwave. I'm not very fit - we'll start with that shall we. I'm not nearly as fit as I'd like to be and my goal isn't just to get fit enough but to get as fit as I possibly can.
Why? When I was a teenager I got an unhealthy bout of depression - I read that exercise was good for this so instead of just taking up regular exercise I attended a selection course to learn to be an Adventure Sports Instructor - amazingly (to me) I passed this weekend course. Then for three months I forced a superficial, positive attitude with fake smiles, fake jokes etc until one day I actually laughed, completely spontaneously and un-prepared!
Of course nobody knew this at the time except me.

Unfortunately I then contracted the dreaded Glandular Fever when I was twenty and this turned into M.E. or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which wasn't diagnosed for few years. To heal this I went to see a Doctor trained in Tibetan Medicine, and after a year and having noticeably gradual benefit from the treatment (acupuncture and herbs etc) I began to study this subject as an apprentice.

I wasn't a very good apprentice, stopping and starting in rather a dramatic fashion. In fact having M.E. made me lose any sense I had had about integrity and keeping comitments. I continued in this fashion for Four years of the Twelve year course, ( I still want to complete this training). It is difficult with an illness if you consider yourself better to understand that there are degrees of better and degrees of worse, and more difficult still to communicate this - especially if you want to please people.

For me having M.E meant fighting wasn't an option, it exhausted me mentally and physically so I just had to accept, and in a sense accede to all and any events. It has been eight years since I contracted this virus, and in the last eighteen months I noticed a fog lift from my mind for the first time allowing me to concentrate and memorise things and remember things better.(A symptom of M.E. is poor concentration and memory loss).

Now I want to attain my goal of being as fit as I can be. For the simple reason that I want to know what that feels like in my lifetime. I have learnt a Tibetan form of exercise (Kum Nye) which is remarkable in its ability to heal you and make you incredibly fit. It takes a great amount of determination to do this and next to it I find traditional western exercise easy. So to begin to get a routine I am going to follow Adrian Weale's Fighting Fit Programme for the next four months, (from his excellent book 'Fighting Fit'- the complete SAS training course). After a two month preparation period that takes you from 'Desk Driver' to 'Semi-pro', you begin the Fighting Fit Programme; following this you can begin the SAS Selection Programme which aims to get you fit enough to pass the SAS selection.I am going to journal the exercise I do everyday so that you can follow my progress and I may even add some video diary's. I will call these Progress reports. I hope that they will inspire you to be as fit as you can be!

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