With Renewed Focus

Today, I was back at the training. It was my first real day of lifting since this time last week, and I was eager to get after it today. Especially since I now have a whole new respect for the need to embrace strength and conditioning.

After all, I needed every ounce of it I had yesterday.

There are no real wrong answers to the question, “Why do you train?” However, there are some I consider a bit nobler than others. One example of that is being able to handle anything life throws at you, including a hurricane, being now right up near the top.

The fact that I, a middle-aged fat guy was able to outwork my 17-year-old son despite the relatively limited nature of my conditioning training is particularly telling.

So today, I hit the weights with a renewed focus and a strong desire to make myself even more than I did before.

Before this time last week, my reason to train was to keep my family safe and sound in the case of a violent confrontation. Because I’m a political writer in my day-to-day life and we live in a world where everyone seems to have lost their everloving minds, I still think that is a noble enough reason to train.

However, I also have to admit that even though I am a bit more likely to be targeted than most, I’m not really likely to need to defend myself. Statistically speaking, at least.

What is more likely to happen is bad weather. Especially in Albany, GA where I live. No, seriously, look at what the Washington Post had to say about it. Just don’t read the comments. Those will give you cancer.

When bad weather strikes, you can ride out the storm just fine–though the January 2017 tornados were easier said than done. I could actually hear one of those from my living room–it’s the aftermath that can get ugly.

Yesterday, I was moving large hunks o’ tree to the street corner in an effort to clear the yard. These weren’t overly small, either. Here are examples:

This one took out my fence. It was a nightmare to move since it was tangled with the fencing. (Photo by me)
You can only see part of this one, but there’s a good bit stuck up in the tree, shown in the next photo. (Photo by me)
Who needs cats stuck in a tree when you can have a limb stuck there? This wasn’t exactly easy to pull down so it could be hauled off, either. (Photo by me)

Now, this is just a glimpse into my world yesterday. It was less than pleasant to deal with, but it had to be dealt with. That’s the thing about bad weather. It doesn’t just hit your house. It hits the entire area.

In this case, I found that I had my work cut out for me, so I busted my ass to get it done. I wanted to lift today, and I needed space for my farmer’s walks.

The thing is, the next storm will likely send more tree parts crashing to the ground. Hopefully. Far better they hit the ground than they hit someone’s car or truck, home, or anything else.

But after that next storm, someone will have to head back out and get to work all over again.

That’s when you need to be strong. That’s when you need conditioning.

Sure, if someone attacks me tomorrow, I’ll need all of that too, but we all know that the chances of that are small. They’re not zero, but they’re small.

Yet the odds of another storm coming through? Those are actually good and high. Maybe not storms like we have gotten–Lord only knows we’ve had enough of those for one lifetime–but storms none the less.

And when those storms happen, you have to do what you have to do. You have to pick up and clean up.

I train in part because of those odd events, that nastiness that happens because we live in a brutal world where far too many people think of life as cheap. But I also now train for the far more likely cases, the events that call for everyday feats of strength.

There will be more tree parts to haul off. There will be chunks of homes to take away. There will be broken down cars to help push off to the side of the road.

All of those things not only might happen but will happen. Someone will have to deal with those things, and it just might be you.

The question is, are you ready for that? Are you trained up enough to help your family pick up the pieces after something like a hurricane? Are you ready for the “unexpected” events that everyone knows on some level are coming?

I wasn’t. Not nearly enough.

Today, as I trained my ass off, though, I knew that I would be next time.

I’ve always refused to be a victim. That means it’s time to get off my posterior and get ready for the next nasty storm. I can’t count on statistics to keep my family safe on that front any more than I can when it comes to violent jackwagons who may wish to harm me and mine.

If I’m going to train for one, I should be training for all. It’s just that simple.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

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