I've started jogging, which goes completely against my nature. I'm pretty sedate most of the time, working on my computer and snacking a lot. I'm a pretty solid guy, about six feet tall and two forty, slabs of muscle with enough fat to see me through a hard winter at least.
Evans thinks that all of us need to focus on getting in shape. Food has been plentiful enough that no one has really gone hungry since The Fall, and a lot of us have gotten more fit by the sheer amount of work needed around the compound. The real work will be building our endurance and constitutions up to a point where we can fight all day if we have to. Run all day if it comes to that.
Not to mention flexibility exercises and building muscle. The more nimble and strong we are, the better we will fare in combat situations. Now that the cold has set in pretty thoroughly, zombies are basically not a threat for the time being. The mark at which they tend to become active is about sixty degrees, and while some days get there, they are few and far between.
So we're dealing with an excess of energy now that we aren't fighting every other day or so. I have a strong suspicion that Will talked to Evans about this whole getting fit idea, but it seems like a good one. It helps that we are on rationed meals and that a great deal of what we eat is lean meat and veggies grown in the compound or around it. We still have a lot of canned food and dry goods, but we are trying to save that stuff for when we really need it.
At my weight I'm not exactly built for running, but I do it. I do a lot of things to improve my own life and set an example, like going to as many of Evans' classes as possible. I've missed a lot of them, but he's holding refresher classes and open tutoring times to help people catch up.
I'm still doing an hour a day of teaching myself, thirty minutes each of hand to hand combat and weapons. I'm a lot better at unarmed combat, but I've learned enough over the years to be decent with something sharp and deadly.
I want to be a bigger part of the community here. I'm already in a vital position, of course, because of the planning and logistics work I do with my brother, but I am fairly cut off from most people because of that. Like I said, I sit in an office and work eight hours a day at a minimum, and that greatly reduces the chances I have to meet and get to know people.
Consider. Most folks have jobs that take them outdoors. A guard, for example, is outside all day. He or she does four hours on the wall watching for external threats, then two hours walking patrol around the compound, and finishes with two hours of sentry duty. During that time, depending on what section of the wall they have been assigned that day, a given person can meet and talk to fifty people. Some are going through the gate to scavenge or run raids on dozing zombies. Some are simply digging up potatoes or carrots. Some are off duty themselves, merely enjoying a stroll (though more rare now that it's so cold.) while others are taking classes with Aaron.
Every bit of conversation, every introduction, produces a bit more togetherness. I have tried to get to know people, but it has felt all too often like trying rather than doing. It's felt forced.
I've had a little luck with combat training, but the idea is for me to teach. It's hard to be friends with the guy who demands you try harder, be better, because he knows you can even if you feel you can't.
So despite my heavy frame, I'm jogging. It gives me a break from the endless numbers and bits of math, and I get to be out there in the streets, smiling at babies and winking at pretty girls.
And getting to know the people around here, learning their stories, is important to me. I need to keep grounded in reality as much as anyone else, keep first and foremost in my mind what it is we're doing here. It's not about my anger or pride, having basically founded this place. It's not about my principles or ethics, my desperate and sometimes murderously harsh actions and decisions. It's about these people. Anyone that wants to live in peaceful cooperation.
They are the goal. Living, growing, continuing to be. Every man, woman and child are the greatest treasure we have. All else is dross that can be burned away, painfully, but ultimately expendable.
I'm not separate from them, or different. I have as much value as anyone here, and they as much as me. Working on larger and more long term problems has done much to make me lose perspective.
I'm going to go for a run. Maybe straighten out my vision a little along the way.