One of the realizations I made during my bug out exercise is that I am not in the proper physical shape that I need to be in. I had the necessary will and desire but that will only take you so far. The stresses and challenges indicative of a bug out cannot be met unless you have a decent level of physical fitness. Sure, you can compensate for a lower level of physical fitness by the utilization of technologies, vehicles, animals, etc. However, reality and Murphy’s Law have proven time and again that vehicles break down or run out of fuel, pack animals may not be usable, and any alternate form of transportation may not be available. Inevitably it comes down to the fact that your boots are your wheels, food is your fuel, and your body is your engine.
Mental and physical resiliency is a must! The weaker your physical fitness, the more you will suffer. The more you will suffer, the more that your mental toughness wanes. The more that your mental toughness wanes, the lesser that your chances of survival becomes.
I am not in terrible shape. I am in good shape, just not good enough. I sat down and ate a good helping of humble pie and I came to grips with that fact that I am getting older and cannot spontaneously do the things that I did 20 years ago. I actually have to work at the things that I used to be able to do without a thought or sweat. Yeah, aging sucks.
First thing was to improve my diet, except for bacon as that would be a deal breaker. I would rather be found dead under a bridge with a half a pack of cigarettes and an empty bottle of scotch the day following TEOTWAWKI than to give up bacon. I think that there is a lot of agreement there. Mmmm….bacon….. Anyway, I found myself in the health food aisle of the local grocery store. I fought my way through the crowds of hippies as they sang the benefits of tofu, played a real life game of Frogger as I dodged the elderly on a super highway as they raced for stool softeners and high fiber drink mixes on their motorized scooters, and crowd-surfed muscle heads and bodybuilders to an aisle where that I could begin my search.
During my search I read countless labels that meant absolutely nothing to me. All of them had big words written in a strange dialect. None of them said anything remotely interesting to me. Not one label said, “Eat this and kick some ass” or “Atlas will crap himself trying to compete with you”, or “Chuck Norris once thought about eating this.” That was until I read the back of a can of chia seeds.
I scanned through all of the fluff about omega-3s, anti-oxidants, fiber, and other blah-blah-blahs and read the most amazing thing. Ancient Aztec freak’n Warriors. They ate chia in order to kick some ass. I thought long and hard about this. I thought about all of the accomplishments of Ancient Aztec Warriors. Sure, they lost to the conquistadores, but that is what happens when you bring a knife to a gun fight. The prospect of being as tough as one of these dudes definitely excited me. The math seemed simple. Eat chia and become as tough as an ancient Aztec warrior. Gain the ability to run for days through some of the toughest terrains. Have the dexterity of a jungle cat on the prowl. Be empowered with the strength, virility, and intensity of a sun god….a naked sun god!!! What more could anyone want?
Having been duped before by products of this nature I did further research. After all, if Aztecs were so smart, why did they live in igloos? I bought a book on chia. I then took my research to the next level and actually read it. I learned more about chia than I ever wanted to. I learned the history of chia. How chia was used as currency, medicine, food, and during ceremonies. I learned that the Aztec ultra-athletes could survive days of grueling, intensely physical activities by consuming nothing more than a tablespoon of chia every few hours.
Other facts it listed were that Chia:
- Is loaded with complete protein, meaning that your body can fully utilize the protein as is.
- Contains all eight essential amino acids the body needs to fully utilize its protein.
- Is a whole food as it contains all its original components: the bran, germ, and endosperm.
- Is gluten-free.
- Is anti-allergenic; most people, even those sensitive to other foods, have no problem consuming chia.
- Swells up to 12 times its original mass in your stomach, making you feel full.
- Is a “brain food” as it is rich in alpha-linolenic acid.
- Increases physical endurance by lubricating joints and muscles and keeping the body steadily hydrated so it can stay in action longer without uncomfortable cramps.
- Supplies a slow, constant drip of energy so you can keep on keeping on.
Apparently chia is so awesome that Dr. Oz stated that he recommends two daily doses of about 20 grams (about 2 tablespoons) of seeds each. How could Dr. Oz be wrong? He’s been on Oprah! And as smart and rich as she is, she owns thousands of people, all of them no doubt eating chia right now!
More importantly, I began to ponder on whether having chia in my preps is a good idea. If it lives up to the claims then why would I not want it with my bug out supplies? If it can do everything that it is claiming it can do then I would be foolish not to have it.
This is where it gets fun. I need to test these bad boys out. I need to see if they are worth the space and can lead me on a path of chia-ass kicking-awesomeness or if I would be better off slapping them onto my head, watching them grow, and have a kicking ‘fro for the winter.
I brought in some experts in the field of making me suffer: Ryan Tellberg of Tellberg’s Gym and Jackie. Together we devised a good test that will put the chia claims to the test. We have devised a course the will test my endurance, strength, and mental acuity. I will conduct this course after a period of physical training. Once that is completed, I will introduce chia into my diet and conduct the course again. The course will be conducted in a controlled environment where we will eliminate as many variables and unknowns as possible. The results will be scrutinized and published for everyone to review.
Wish me well. This is going to hurt.