Fitness for Shooters

Refusing to accept pain and weakness as a way of life

The reason I know a section of fitness for shooters is necessary is because of the number of people who write to me and tell me how they can't use some type of firearm because of a physical challenge. Sometimes adjustments to what they use has to be made.

Many times it could be fixed by an adjustment in their thinking and lifestyle.

Today I know that old injuries make my joints pop and crack, and muscles that formerly tore under athletic stress now require regular ice packs after engaging in physical activity. Fitness goals have to be categorized for anybody of any age for what they have to do to maximize their physical abilities.

And many times fitness goals are delayed by some kind of life event, age, injury and a multitude of other "excusing" factors.

Consequences of delaying your fitness goals

But without setting and achieving those goals, many shooters end up with maladies that may disable us from what we love to do most. And the disability, many times, is not a result of something we cannot control or correct.

It comes from accepting a disability or a diagnosis as the end of all we can do. It's the "acceptance" that kills the spirit and ensures the disability will take our enjoyment of life.

Too many people have proven negative evaluations to be false for most of us to sit down and slowly die because we have a physical weakness, pain or condition that is debilitating. In many cases it may just be the doctor or chiropractor's evaluation that cripples the spirit enough to keep the body disabled. The diagnosis of arthritis or painful bulging disc symptoms in your neck may very well cause many people to just lie down and give up.

That's not God's intent for you. And it's not the way most of us have to live, regardless of physical challenges.

Ask yourself this. If your doctor has told you there is "nothing you can do" to improve your physical condition, or stengthen your hands, arms, joints, legs, etc., do you have anything to lose by trying anyway?

Here is my physical background (past injuries):

*I have torn the ligaments and muscles between my left pectoral muscle and bicep
*I have torn the hamstrings in both legs multiple times
*I have torn (completely) the distal biceps tendon from my right forearm causing my bicep to "jump" up toward my shoulder. (No corrective surgery)
*I have broken bones in both feet
*I have dislocated my right shoulder - and had a friend pull my joint back into place (no corrective surgery)
*I have injured my sciatic nerve severely enough to have had to hold on to a counter for weeks to stand and brush my teeth.
*I suffered a neck injury that caused weeks of sickness and weight loss, along with loss of smell.

The only thing I was treated for was a double break of a bone in my right foot. That one left me almost unable to walk at the time. And it was a Workers Comp injury.

I had grave warnings from friends and medical acquaintances about much of all that. Most of it I ignored. Not because I didn't care, but because I was, and still am not, willing to disable myself with caution.

Overcoming your physical challenges

The number one physical disability that people contact me about concerning their shooting ability is loss of strength in the hands and arms.

If you have osteoarthritis, it can be overcome or managed to allow strengthening your hands. If you have suffered any degree of past injury that has left you with some physical challenge, don't just accept disability. Begin to carefully, but determinedly pursue strength. Exercise the body parts that are weak. Work through pain that keeps you immobile.

I'm not telling you to be stupid or disobey your doctor. But if you have a diagnosed illness, or disease, or disability from past injury, research it till you find a way to strangle it and beat it.

The bottom line here is not to give up and accept the death of your body while you are still alive. Whether you're in your 30s or 70s use every resource God gave you to keep or restore your strength.

Many people, if they refuse to die to disability, can overcome their physical challenges to where they can handle their firearms, shoot well, and defend themselves and their families.

God's intent for my body

I am keenly aware that God gave me a body that He means for me to use to it's maximum to serve Him and to do so requires that I keep it fed, get it rested and keep it moving. And that's the point of this page. Fitness for shooters of any age. And fitness for those who have accepted pain and weakness as a way of life.

Obesity and other eating related health problems are rampant in the U.S. as Americans eat more fast food and demand bigger portions. They spend more and more time watching wide screen tvs, munching on snacks while their kids play with video games in another room.

Fast food is the training food for toddlers and small children to the point where by the time many kids reach their teen years, vegetables are rejected and hamburgers, fries, pizza and candy are the staples in their diets. Candy is used to placate small children so they stay out of their parent's hair.

More and more young American parents are putting themselves in danger of not living long enough to watch their children grow up, by the way and the amount that they eat.

Younger Americans are experiencing health and fitness problems.

This is all resulting in more and more Americans in their 30s and 40s experiencing health problems formerly associated with people in their 70s. It's amazing how many people I know in that 30-40 age range who are already "old" because they have accepted their heredity, injuries, weight and other physical limitations as their definition.

And much of it is preventable.

We all know that there are no guarantees in life. But the more we do to take care of our health and pursue fitness through exercise, the more chance we have of living better for a longer time. Accomplishing the most we can with the life God has given us, and living with greater vitality is what is intended. The way we eat, exercise and rest is what determines this.

So, the purpose of this page is to give readers some basic and intermediate encouragement to pursue health and fitness, no matter your age. That will help you improve your overall health, live with greater vitality, and operate day to day with the energy that God intends for you to have.

My prayer is that as Christians, we can accomplish our responsibilities and goals that God intends for us to undertake with the bodies that He has given us.

As gun owners, people who will heed what they read here and put it in action, will be able to shoot better, move more rapidly, and endure any kind of training we decide to undertake.

It's important to remember, that even though we carry guns, it's a fantasy world we live in if we think every attacker is going to come at us in just the way we've read and in just the way we expect. It's easy from reading so much about defense with guns, to imagine that criminals will allow us to dispense with them with our guns only.

Multiple attackers, sudden attacks with an assailant on top of you, things happening too fast to get to the gun, your body better be ready.

So let's get ready for whatever comes at us by getting fit, staying vigorous, and defying age.

Martial arts for self defense. What about all the articles and criticism that claims that traditional martial arts do not work for practical self defense? Here's a realistic look at what you can expect from traditional martial arts training.