Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Walk to Mordor... my work to a Ren Fit new year.

Since 2001, Christmas Season in our home has included the then current Lord of the Rings  movies. This year with the final Hobbit movie at the theater, we were able to watch all six films in order over the Christmas-New Years season. And this new year, I restarted my fitness tracking with the Sparkpeople Website, after all when I used it consistently before I had lost weight.

However, I got bored of the site, and it fell by the wayside. This time, I'm trying to tie my nerd obsessions into the plan to keep my interest. My wife heard this idea and serendipitously found an exercise mention of Walking with Frodo, that led to chasing links and finding the Nerd Fitness Website.

Thanks to the wonderful blog post by Steve (of said Nerd Fitness) Into Mordor , I have begun the walk this year. I'm off to a slow start (the Hobbits in the books did 18 miles the first day, and I did just short of 1,) but I am hoping to make it a consistent increase in my exercise and endurance.

Unlike the Nerd Fitness blog suggests, I'll be using heavier shoes. And due to my particular nerdiness, I plan to wear at least partial garb (Renaissance /Medieval Clothes to the norms reading.) So for now, in the cold weather the heavy wool cloak just feels right.

I am a member of the local Amtgard,  which is a Medieval/Ren/Fantasy Battle Sport & Live Action Role Play (LARP) group. But due to conflicting schedules I haven't been able to regularly attend for years. Even when I have been able to go, I primarily play a Archery based support type fighter... not the quick 'Stick Jock' swordsman.

I also should mention the chainmail I built a few years ago. My chainmail is overly thick guage, made from reclaimed materials (mainly old furniture springs) which translates to a 90lb 3/4 Hauberk that drops to almost my knees. So when I can make it to Battlegames I'll wear the armor, and on the walks I'll add at least the 1 lb gloves. Recently I've taken to grocery shopping with bags under the cloak, but if just walking for the walks sake, I'll wear the armor then too.

So I will be incorporating Swordplay Exercises, and Weight Training, combined with the endurance and eventual speed training that should add into the fitness that will result in more effectiveness on the Larp Fields as well.  My wife also gave me a Sword Exercises both for swordplay and fitness DVD, so I'll be using the gloves to add weight to my sword movements- thus speeding up my LARPin (much lighter) swords. So as the hobbits had to learn swordplay along the route (beautifully displayed in the 2001 'Fellowship' Movie's extended version) my quest will include similar lessons.

I am planning that as I make different landmarks, I can blog about my quest in relation to the story. So, as another goal- I think I will re-read then as well. This should make for an interesting quest. As for now (8 miles in at posting), I've just had the last sights of Hobbiton from first slopes of the Green Hill Country. 

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet."
JRR Tolkien-The Fellowship of the Ring

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