Hello Happy Partisans,
Some years back I did a self assessment, came up terribly short in many areas, and embarked on a path of Stoic Toughening Training to remedy some of the more glaring mental and physical deficiencies. I also wanted to push out the boundaries of discomfort in my life.
I began lifting weights and rucking (thank you, John Mosby!) logging my 1,000th mile under a pack last month. I sleep on the floor with a sheet, allowing myself a blanket during our upper Midwest Winters. Thanks to Matt Bracken I began bicycling to and from work several days a week instead
of driving, and so on. As each activity became less uncomfortable and more normal I added a new suck vector. The latest is the point of this piece.
The subject of fasting has been nagging me for a while. Since thinking about it made me uncomfortable I took that as a sign and began doing a fast day once a week. I would use the time to honor my ancestors’ hunt not going well. If the day is, say, Saturday, I’ll take water only from Friday
night supper until breakfast on Sunday. That works out to 36-40 hours, depending. Surprisingly it wasn’t all that difficult and became normal after 2-3 weeks.
Time for more suck so I added a ruck march after the fast and figured on a five miler to see how my body would take it. It went well with a good pace and decent weight until the three mile mark as I neared the top of a hill.
I hit a wall. Over the span of 15-20 paces my ankles then calves then entire legs then hips then, oh hell, my entire drive train and chassis began to hurt in a way I’d never felt before. I wasn’t injured and it was unlike any cramp I’d ever experienced. I’d just encountered a brand new personal barrier and limped home, happy I’d learned something about myself. Recovery to normal took several days.
Let me ask you to consider how it will be for you if vittles run a little short on the homestead or at the G-Camp. How will you perform if you need to ruck up? Will you be able to drive on or just sit down and go on strike until you’ve had your pancakes? Now I know my answer.
Also, I’d love to hear toughening ideas. My list needs more.