It is right around this time every year that I realize that I am going to die. Like, I always know that I'm going to die eventually, but it's the first greens of spring that send me into the full-blown panic of 'it's almost field season and I haven't moved from my desk in eight months'. That kind of die. A 'my first 15 kilometre day in steel-toed rubber boots is going to kill me' kind of die.
Also, are my field pants going to button? Always a dicey proposition this time of year.
2016 will be my 14th field season. I am not proud to admit that I've gone through this exact same process, every year, for over a decade. But I am proud to say that this year, I actually learned my damn lesson and did things differently: I worked out like a maniac five days a week. I did really bad Zumba, and took plus-sized ladies' yoga classes, and attempted insane workout videos in my basement. I even ponied up for a personal trainer a couple times a week.
This is not an inspirational forum so don't go expecting miraculous "after" photos or egg white recipes or anything. I hate that shit. The fact is that I look 100% the damn same as I did last spring, 'cept I can do way more pushups. (And if you want to feel my butt I will let you because it's AH-mazingly firm these days.) (Seriously. Feel my butt.)
So for the first time in all these years I was feeling pretty hunky dory about my upcoming field season. Confident, even. Until I raked (de-thatched) the lawn. Raking the lawn reminded me that nothing can prepare you for raking the lawn - I hurt for days. Similarly, there is precious little about a leisurely 45 minutes of watching Netflix on an elliptical trainer that is remotely comparable to hoofing around all day in steel-toed rubber boots with 25 pounds of crap stuffed in my field vest. Nothing can prepare you for walking through a bog.
Actually, I don't even know if you can call it walking, and it's not just bogs that are tough. Whatever very particular form of habitat-specific locomotion one must employ while attempting to traverse various difficult types of terrain/vegetation: nothing can prepare you. And just when you think you're finally prepared, it's welp, end of season, back to your desk, see ya next year sucker. I'll bet all those kettlebell swings you're doing in the interim will *totally* make a difference next time - good luck with that.
I really wish I had raked the lawn in the fall so I would have thought of this sooner. Dang. At this point I only have 2 weeks left to prepare so I guess all there is for me to do is get out there and hope for at least some improvement over previous years. This season, however, I will definitely be compiling ideas for a hardcore winter training program for field biologists.