About a month ago I began working on a project that up until this point has been nameless, but not without purpose. My goal is not to lose weight. I'm not even in it to gain weight. While I want to work on tone, I really want to increase my endurance because if I can do that, muscle tone and overall health will quickly follow. I also don't know of an easier way to track progress than to say "How far can I go today?".
But I need a more objective standard.
It's one thing to track my progress, but then the question is, "Okay, I can run 2 miles in 18:00, but what does that really mean?". I need something to compare it to. Thanks to the Army, I have the APFT which comes with a scale that is divided Male/Female and in age ranges. I can compare my scores with the scores for Men between 27-31 and see where I fit.
Next I need a goal. Not just any goal, but a realistic one. I'm not going to hit 100% on the APFT. In fact, it would be pretty dangerous for me to try. I've been injured enough times by pushing myself too far. I know I can do it, and if I really want an injury, that is a good way to get one. So let's be realistic. From today, it would be realistic to say that I could get to 59 sit ups, 53 pushups and running 2 miles in 15:36. That would be about a 25% score improvement from where I am at now, moving me to the 75% ranking in each area on the APFT score sheets.
Now I need a deadline. If I've ever written an article for you, you know that I am a deadline driven person. Without one I will languish indefinitely with excuses of 'almost there' without ever getting there. To get from 50% to 75% I am going to shoot for a time frame of 6 weeks to achieve this first goal.
Now I need a reward. This one is easy. Date Night with the wife at Imperial Fez.
So far We have a goal that is realistic and attainable. We have a deadline and we have a reward for meeting that deadline successfully. The last thing that I need is someone to hold me accountable. I'm pretty sure that Jenn is going to keep encouraging me, but I need someone to keep me accountable. Drill Instructors are hard to come by, but like minded internet-denizens are not. To keep me moving towards my goal, I am counting on the group of health minded ragamuffins at RagamuffinSoul.com.
This is about to change. That is change that I can believe in.
I'm a bit concerned about my health. I eat right, I look decent, I'm not taking random injuries because of total lack of muscle tone, but I don't really do anything to work out. Sure, I survived and even thrived in a 3 day climb in the rockies along with multiple single day climbs over 2 weeks and then another trip just 6 weeks later to the same location, but it was not because of my incredible physique.
Truth be told, the only time that I have kept track of my fitness in the last decade was during my prep work to get ready to go to basic training back in '04. Of course that ended up with me in Louisiana as a youth minister rather than at Ft Campbell Ky. with the 101st, but because of that I am married today to a woman that absolutely blows my mind.
Thinking about my fitness back then versus today, I've got a long way to go. Comparing my old scores on the APFT versus a random sampling from today I've dropped from a high passing score to failing in four years of inattention and neglect.
This is something that I need to address now. I'm young and have the chance to turn this around before it really starts to affect my health and the length of my life. I want to be around for things like watching Jack grow up and start a family of his own. I want to retire to a life of adventure and intrigue with my wife. I want to be a crotchety old man some day.
So lets go ahead and call this day one. I want to see some real results, so I need to have a way to measure those results. In a months time, I am going to take the APFT. A month after that I will take it again. Rinse and repeat until the end of the year. Between now and then I want to start tracking the results of these tests and also the physical changes that take place.
So feel free to gut check me on this one. Also I will accept e-cards telling me to get off the couch and start exersizing.