Hello. This is entry numero uno in my 12-week challenge for heightened physical and mental health. Why now, you ask? In case of ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! It is my civic duty to be in top condition should be undead ever rise and attempt to feast on our tender, succulent brains.
There seem to be two schools of thought on potential zombie health and behavior: One, they are slow moving as what we’ve seen in Shaun of the Dead and various George A. Romero films, among many many others. Then there is the approach taken by 28 Days Later which is far more terrifying: Zombies that can run. Straight at you. And fuck your shit up faster than you can say “Argh! Zombies everywhere!” However, either way you explore the situation the one consistency is that zombies will be in large numbers, all over the damn place, and constant vigilance is key to survival, as is resourcefulness and physical and mental alertness. I think the only other thing that would concern me more than this is if sharks grew proper lungs and evolved a way to use their fins and wings. I mean, come on. Flying sharks. THAT is something to be terrified of.
In preparation for the potentially impending cataclysm of zombies that may one day arise due to plague, virus, or botched science experiments, I am embarking on the Bill Phillips Body-for-LIFE challenge. This is an amazing book that focuses on key elements for keeping your body in primo condition for zombie warfare:
1. Cardiovascular fitness, because even slow-moving zombies will tire you out eventually.
2. Physical strength and flexibility for carrying exhausted friends and pets over large distances, constructing dams and surprise traps of boulders and lumber, hauling large caches or weapons about on your person, navigating difficult terrain more easily, and using something as simple as a chair leg to deal a frightening amount of damage.
3. Proper diet in the form of simple carbohydrates, oils, protein, and fresh fruit and veg. It is possible that in a wasteland of cities one will need to scavenge for appropriate nutrition; therefore, one must already be well nourished and understand what is needed for appropriate muscle and tissue development and maintenance.
Technically this is the beginning of week three of twelve. Hopefully there will be no incidents involving zombies between now and the end of April, when my challenge is complete and I’ll be a leaner, meaner version of the Morgan you currently know.
So. I began the challenge on Monday, January 24.
Week One: Not a bad start. Did a lot of grocery shopping and a lot of food label reading. Secret: Plain greek yoghurt has a ton of protein. And is delicious. Found out I hate cottage cheese with a passion that should be reserved for roundhouse kicks and decapitations. Kept up my gym schedule except for Thursday when I had class, mostly because Front Range Community College is silly. They have a gym so I got there early enough to do my 20 minute cardio workout, had my bag ready, and found out from the ditzes at the front desk that you have to attend an orientation that’s only given during certain days of the week, at NOON, to even use the facilities. I can’t even sign a waiver and then hop on the elliptical. Err? So yeah, if you go to FRCC, don’t trust these people. They want to teach you technical writing, but they don’t want you to be able to defend yourself against zombies. Beware!
The workouts were great; I was amazed that I managed to make it happen every day. I pushed myself a little to much on upper body and had to wait until Friday of week two to get back into that realm, but overall the working out went better than I anticipated. Going to the gym became an instant reaction, like the reflex of hearing a low moan behind me and immediately grabbing the nearest blunt object, gathering my shoulders and delivering a powerful blow to a frightful creature’s half-decomposed face just before it sinks what’s left of its teeth into the base of my skull. (Author’s note: If you have the flu, best not to sneak up behind me at any time.)
Week Two: Tried to get up at 5:30 a.m. every day but was mostly unsuccessful. Getting my workout out of the way first thing would be ideal, so I have the afternoon to devote to other things like cleaning my huge-ass house and studying how to add machine gun turrets to a 1970s brick ranch with a peaked roof. Was getting a little burned out on cooking at home; Thursday night I finally gave in and we went to the Pumphouse in Longmont, where I had a flatiron steak (allowed, and full of lovely iron and amino acids), steamed broccoli and an incredible apple jicama salad. I also snuck in half a beer which felt strange, and I finally decided it wasn’t working out. Carboned drinks and I don’t get along so well any more.
This brings us to Week Three! Tonight my husband Yarko and I went to Wally World (strangely deserted at 9:00 on a Sunday night; note to self, always go at this hour from here on out) and bought a Gold’s Gym brand weight bench. I also acquired a set of adjustable barbells that go from 5 lbs to 40 lbs for $20 via craigslist. So I now can do all of my upper body workouts from home if I choose, and can probably adapt to also do my lower body workouts since the bench has the fitting capability. It’s quite exciting to think that I can just roll out of bed and head down to my basement instead of freezing my butt off driving in a frosty car across frozen streets to the gym (Colorado is FREAKING COLD lately, even more than usual… you people in places like Minnesota, I don’t know how you do it).