Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Fit List: Five Reasons to Feel the Burn

So I Married an Army Guy, and then I learned that staying motivated to stay fit can be a challenge for many of us.  Fitness is one of the major components of your partner's career, but sweating it up is important for the whole family- especially you.  We know you know this- we've been reading the mainstream discussion groups and we get the listserv emails, too.

Without further rambling, here are the Five:

5.  Active Hobbies are Portable, and So are You.

Think about what you've learned to like about your current living situation.  What do your awesome container garden, your feminist book club, and your meaningful volunteer gig all have in common?  They will take time to replace when you move!  And what about your fitness regimen?  Chances are good that you'll be able to find another CrossFit Box or upcoming race in your new community, and you can get started as soon as you get there.  One of the great things about military communities is that you can pretty much count on some kind of a fitness culture to tap into.  And of course, you don't need anything except a little bit of willpower to go for a walk or do a YouTube video.  

4.  Getting Moving Gets You Out There.

Running is a great way to get to know a new neighborhood.  So is going to yoga class at a community center.  And what about a fitness-themed Meetup group?  Go to the free gym on post and talk to someone.  Right now.  You can read the rest of this post later.  At the gym, there will be at least one other person who wants a friend, or at least knows where you can find a good cup of coffee.  Again, unlike work or clubs or most volunteer opportunities, working out is an activity that you can do today, right now, that will put you around potential friends, or at least a bulletin board with networking opportunities.  In fact, legend has it that two of your favorite progressive bloggers met on a running least that's what I heard.  Want to make friends?  Race them.

3.  You Need to Chill Out.

Living with (or near) military culture can wreak havoc on your progressive nerves.  The PX parking lot is full of guzzlers, most of which are adorned with intellectually bankrupt bumperstickers.   The TV in the clinic waiting room is tuned into Faux Newz and the remote is nowhere to be found.  The local spouses' social media page is crammed with poorly spelled posts about the evil big gubment- you know, the agency that employs most folks you both know.  You have to deal with all this crap all day, and Rachel Maddow won't be on for another two hours.  What to do with all your righteous fury?  Vote, of course- but for now, why not take it out on the treadmill?  Don't argue with idiots- race them.

2.  It's Better Together

We heard somewhere that soldiers have to take a PT test- at least that's what our partners are telling us.  One of the few parts of military life that's easy to live with is the built-in fitness regime!  Many of us have found physical activity to be a great way to connect with our partners on a busy schedule (get your mind out of the gutter- we're talking about biking, running, and paintball.) As badasses, we've frequently been accused of being unsupportive partners (and worse) by the conservative kool-aid drinkers, which is total bullshit.  We might not go to all the parades or whatever, but we definitely do our part for our soldiers by supporting their efforts to get ripped and beastly.  Let's be honest- some of them need it.  If those PT tests are stressing your partner out, it's time for some teamwork.  Find something fun to do together that revs up your heart rate- and when you're done with that, you naughty minx, go work out together.  Don't nag your partner- race her.

1.  Badassery Takes Training

Look at you, kicking ass out there.  You've been coping with moves, making new friends, blowing off the steam of righteous fury, and setting a solid example for your own partner.  Maintaining your relationship and your sanity amid the stressors of military life takes a boatload of energy on a daily basis- and taking excellent care of yourself is the best long-term strategy we know of.  You're going to get so good at this- but it might not happen by accident.  Why take chances?  Keeping up with yourself and being the strongest, fastest, and calmest you can be is not just a lifestyle- it's your mission.

So tell us, what exactly are you doing to kick ass and how is it working out for you?

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