Zombie Preparedness Fitness

My history:
Since I was a kid, I have't been very good at exercise. Perhaps I lack a natural proclivity towards exercise, but gym classes and sporting events were always a humiliating time during my childhood, because I simply wasn't as fast or coordinated as the other kids. I was also overweight, ballooning up to nearly 180 pounds (obese by any measure for my body) by eighth grade. During eighth grade, I began to play Dance Dance Revolution, moreso because it was fun and what my friends were doing than for the fitness benefits, which came later. Nonetheless, I lost over twenty pounds. I generally maintained that weight loss until the present. However, despite sometimes working out during my years as an undergraduate, I was never very consistent and still mostly clueless about fitness.

Now, I am in my third year of graduate school. I have been inspired by my husband, who has undertaken great effort to change his body after gaining some weight and by the knowledge I've gained through Fitocracy and dscussions with friends about fitness. I'm ready to begin a more intentional process towards making my body capable of doing tasks I didn't think were possible as a child.

My goals:
In the long-term, the set of skills I would like to have are summed up by "zombie apocalypse fitness." Should, God forbid, the zombie apocalypse ever arrive, I'd like to be physically prepared to face it. That includes practical strength in moving my body, and the ability to run (the bane of my middle school existence). Eventually I would like to try parkour, but currently that seems far away and dangerous in my physical state. While I have nothing against gyms, I know that I do not have a great deal of success in getting myself to them, so I've been focusing on bodyweight exercises that I can do anywhere. I am also going to be living in Germany next year where I won't have access to a gym, so it's also practical on that front. I began Mark Lauren's Body by You plan in early January, and have worked out at least three times a week using that plan and other physical activities since the start of the new year. My goals in doing so are to be able to accomplish these steps, some basic building blocks of general fitness, by the end of the year:

1) Be able to do a pull-up. - This should be covered by the Mark Lauren plan.
2) Be able to do a push-up. - This should be covered by the Mark Lauren plan.
3) Be able to run a mile continuously. - Begin the Couch to 5K program soon.
4) Continue to work regular exercise (3x a week, at least) into my schedule.

If I accomplish these benchmarks, I will already be more fit than I ever really conceived of as possible for most of my life! If you'd like to follow along, it's my username is vcwheeler.
UPDATE: January 24, 2013
Inspired by my own write-up of these goals and focusing on zombie preparedness, I actually discovered an app to get me going on the running, called Zombies 5K. It comes as no surprise, given that I Iike Fitocracy so much, that gamification helps get me going. I did my first "run" (although it was mostly a walk) three days ago. As logged in Fitocracy:

0:39:22 || 3.6 km || 10.5 km/hr || light hills (+488 pts)

Unfortuately, subzero temperatures and ice have prevented me from going running again so far. However, I have also "leveled up" on several strength-building exercises from Mark Lauren's Body By You plan, which means that I've gotten stronger. This is apparent to me with the ease that I can now do some exercises that were formerly challenging, as I note within my exercise commentary on Fitocracy.  I have been doing bodyweight exercises three times a week since a bit before the new year. One cool measurement is a comparison between my planking times:

On December 18, 25 seconds was the longest I could plank. I did a test a few days ago (Jan. 21) just to see the difference, and I was up to 60 seconds over the course of a month!

Otherwise, I can tell much of my body is already firmer than a month ago. It has been really fun to see the changes and I hope to keep seeing cool progress!


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