Pick a sport that actually helps you get in shape for hunting

I’ve been working out for more than a year now, and last week, a friend asked me what I’m training for. My answer made him shake his head and call me a very uncomplimentary name.

I ran into my friend Robert at the gym last week, and after the obligatory razzing and put-downs, he asked me if I was just trying to get in shape or if I was training for something. The truth is, I have been. The goal has always been to get in good shape for hunting, but last summer, I started chasing another goal.

I got hooked on triathlons. I told Robert I was training to be ready to do another triathlon early in the spring.

That’s when he called me the names I can’t say on the radio. I admit I took it kinda’ hard. I said, hold the phone, here, why does that make me crazy? He said if I’m going to get addicted to a competitive sport, it ought to have something to do with hunting. After all, that’s what I live for. That’s what my job’s all about. Why not make it what my exercise routine’s all about, too?

Really, what good is triathlon training when hunting season rolls around? The running part’s probably just fine for building the stamina and muscle it takes to hump a pack through the mountains for weeks on end, but what do the biking and swimming do for me? It’s not like I’m going to try to run down a bull elk on a bike or swim across a lake to bag a deer.

Robert had a better idea for me. He said summer biathlon would be a much better event for me. And he’s right. In summer biathlon, you run instead of skiing. The running part would still be a bit different than what I’d be doing on a hunt, but it’s good cardiovascular training. The shooting, on the other hand, would be perfect. I’ve had to take a shot when I was breathing hard, and it would be real good to practice that.

The only trouble is finding a place to practice. I’m pretty sure the gym staff would get a bit snippy if I stopped every so often on the indoor track and opened up with the .22. I think I’ll try to find another place to go.