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Monday, December 20, 2010

Montana October 2009 Part 1

“If it’s not hurting, you are not working.”

Before I had come home, Doug had told me that I was not used to being uncomfortable. I did nothing outside of my comfort zone. He, on the other hand always pushed himself and lived outside of his comfort zone. He was used to being uncomfortable. I would have to start living that way, too. I would need to run till I got a wind cramp, walk until it went away, then run again. This past summer he did not account for the heat and rode a 50 mile endurance ride. By the end of the ride he was draped over the horse’s neck, barely holding on. He had become dehydrated and overheated. He spent the afternoon drinking Gatorade and water mixed with salt until he felt better. The next day he rode again. Others in the event were concerned for his health. Melanie told them not to worry, Doug would survive. It was the horse that would be stretched. He was right.  Except for the few times I had pushed myself during wrestling, in my senior year in High School, and when I had been a commercial fisherman, I had not pushed myself so hard physically that I was uncomfortable.

Friday, Oct. 23, I had been home for 3 weeks and would be going back to Montana in 8 days. I had not done any exercise since I’d come home, except for one 12 mile bike ride. I was in a rut! I would need to do something to shake it up and get exercising again, and fast. I had made an appointment to get my car serviced and decided to walk home after dropping it off. I clocked the distance on the way to the service station. It was 6.25 miles. I dropped off the car and began walking home. It started to rain, but I was prepared with layered clothing. Halfway home my feet were soaked and water was sloshing around inside my boots. I would have to dry my boots and feet when I got home. Wet feet inside wet boots for a long period of time was not good. Soldiers during WWI stood in water for days and weeks on end as they remained in the trenches. Many of them developed immersion injuries called trench foot. The extreme cold and wet conditions would cause the skin to break down, form ulcers and get infected. In some cases, the skin would peel off with the socks when they tried to remove them. A lot of soldiers lost their toes and some lost their feet from these injuries. I got home in 94 minutes, having walked 4 mph. Soldiers in the Civil War would routinely march 20 miles in 5 hours (4 mph) with 50-75 pounds of equipment, then dig trenches or build fortifications and fight a battle. I still had a long way to go.

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