Fighting fit

I’m not fit. Never have been.

At school I was one of those kids who wasn’t ‘good at games’. I focused on academic achievement and didn’t balance it with sporting accomplishment. I’ve come to regret this in later life, but by your 40s there’s not much you can do about it.

Airsoft can be very physically demanding.

Airsoft can be very physically demanding.

One of the ways I justify to myself the immature and frankly odd hobby of airsoft is that it gets me outdoors and moving under my own power. And I do feel better for it, even if I ache a bit the next day.

In an effort to extend that feeling between games, I’ve discovered a form of exercise that, to some degree, mimics that which you get in a typical airsoft game.

On game day, I find myself walking to the jump-off point, then creeping or crawling towards the skirmish line. Following which there’s some futile dashing between clumps of cover, until sooner or later I get hit and walk back to the respawn point.

In other words, it’s a case of walk-run-walk-die for much of the day. Which is what I’ve tried to emulate in my new exercise routine. But without the die bit.

I wait until nightfall, when it’s safe for fatties to run without too much embarrassment. Then I put on my jogging bottoms and a pair of running plimsolls and head for the local park. There I spend 30 minutes doing a combination of fast walking and short sprints between landmarks.

Run Forrest, run.

Run Forrest, run.

To make it interesting, I imagine that the landmarks are clumps of cover, and that I need to cross the ground between them fast or get nailed. It gets the old heart going and makes me breathless, but without doing me in totally and so ruining my morale.

I do it three times a week, and I have to say I feel the benefit in my ‘civilian’ life. Whether it makes me a better airsofter is rather more questionable. But it’s one way my airsoft habit has at least had some positive impact on my general lifestyle.

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