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nerdy fitness: on being a badass

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Jun. 10th, 2011 | 03:32 pm

I went on a hike for my cardio today, and it occurs to me that as hiking was one of the main motivators for my recent foray into fitness, I should probably talk about that for one of these Boot Camp posts.

Hiking, man. I live in Colorado, and so I have plenty of mountains everywhere to hike around on, up, and down. Since moving here I've conquered a few trails of note, some of which I've even bothered to take pictures of, but there are many I have yet to explore. Some of them, however, are beastly to the point that I'm intimidated to start them, so I've been focusing my workouts on building up my strength in my legs and increasing my cardiovascular capacity.

When I moved out here, the landscape awed and inspired me, which is why I've been writing (and, uh, rewriting) this novel set in the Rocky Mountains. But I had this moment of clarity a while back, as I was hammering out something about my protagonist making her way through the wilds, when I realized she was more of a badass than me when it came to hiking. I had one feeling regarding this: Total bullshit. I have no problem with her being more of a badass than me when it comes to any number of things, since obviously she is the protag of my novel and I am not competitive with my imaginary creation when it comes to any of the more ridiculous things she can do well ... but hiking? Come on, I live here! It was time to remedy this imbalance. It was time ... to become more of a badass.

In the fiction I enjoy consuming, writing, and editing, characters routinely do all kinds of crazy stuff. They might cover many, many miles in a day through serious terrain, solve crimes, conjure demons, invent in time travel, accomplish various feats of strength, slap a ghost, talk with beasts, wield heavy or at least challenging weapons with expertise, raise the dead, or really anything at all. Badasses are awesome, and badassery comes in many forms. And while I'll likely never solve crimes, talk with beasts, invent time travel, or heaven forfend, raise the dead, I can get strong and flexible, hike up mountains, and even become skilled in martial arts.

Right now I'm more focused on getting strong and covering distances (though I have a guest pass to my local YMCA and I plan on checking out kickboxing and/or kendo), but still---badassery. It's become more of a priority for me, and I'm enjoying my newfound confidence and abilities! It's a challenging process, but totally worth it, and I recommend it for everyone who feels they have to experience being a badass on a purely vicarious level. So not true!

I just saw the preview for the Captain America movie and there was a line about how "a weak man knows the value of strength." This is likely probable, and we lovers of genre fiction could, I suppose, extend it laterally to apply to us: "the nerd knows the awesomeness of badassery." Hellz yes.

cross-posted from my site

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