It was about 5 years ago. My wife and I met up with her family at beautiful Ricketts Glenn State Park in Pennsylvania for a weekend camping trip. What was supposed to be a calm weekend away turned into a little more chaotic than expected – and a huge test of my conditioning. God, I hate running.
It was the second day in, and we all decided we were going to walk one of the longer trails into the park. It was gorgeous. Rolling trails, lots of trees, and water falls equipped for jumping in and swimming although I’m not sure if either of those were allowed. Oh, and no cell phone service.
Kim and I wanted to keep going so we left her family behind and kept on our hike. No more than 10 minutes later, one of her aunts started to gain ground on us and looked at both of us in panic. “We think she broke her hip! We think she broke her hip!”
We stopped her and calmed her down. Not sure of the situation and not wanting to waste time, I told Kim and her aunt to go back and I was going to find help.
Turns out one of Kim’s younger cousins tried to jump off one of the cliffs into the water and slipped. She landed on her hip on top of one of the smaller cliff faces below. Ouch.
Now, we’d already been hiking for over an hour (and don’t remember seeing any ranger stations), which meant I wasn’t going back out the way we came in. So I just started running to try and complete the trail and get to a main road in the park.
I just remember running and running. Not getting tired, not taking a break, just finding a steady pace and not stopping until I got somewhere. It felt like I was running forever. It must have been at least 40 minutes. Did I mention I hate running?
Eventually I hit a road, made the call, and the emergency crew showed up at the trail entrance. The most impressive part of the story? There were about 10 people (random volunteers included) who helped carry her out on a make shift stretcher. Awesome.
So I know what you’re thinking. What the hell is the point of this story?
Well, as a guy you have the obligation of protecting your family. Whether it means standing up to someone who disrespects your wife, running into the fire when shit hits the fan, or running out to the main road to get help when no one else is around.
Can you safely say you are in shape to do all of these things?
Yeah it’s great to be big strong and jacked. But what happens that one time you have to depend on your cardio capacity? Are you the go to guy?
Now, I’m not saying you HAVE to run to get in running shape. (There’s actually a summer I dropped weight and got into shape to run a 6:30 mile without running using the Beast Mode Project program).
You can build your cardio capacity up by doing intense cardio circuits on your off days or finishers after your workouts. That’s how I did it.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be intense enough to cause your body to respond and change.
If you’re looking for a FREE solution, check out my Finishers 101 Program.
If you’re looking to cut to the chase and get into great cardio shape by adding a few quick workouts to your week using a simple tool you can take with you anywhere, check out Parking Lot Conditioning.
No matter how you do it, make sure you’re in shape enough to run toward the fire if needed. You’re family’s safety just might depend on your ability to perform.
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