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…to keep myself physically strong- safely

Physical strength, endurance and conditioning are an essential ingredient in many Scouting activities. From preparing for the swim test at summer camp to taking the life saving merit badge test. From the running and activities test for Tenderfoot to completing Personal Fitness merit badge. From taking a first class hike to training for a Philmont trek. All of these activities and many more require ongoing conditioning.

Conditioning is essential and the older one gets, the more difficult it is to work any kind of training into a busy schedule. When I was in the Navy I found that I enjoyed running. It is one of the conditioning activities I have continued. I haven’t run any marathons yet, but I have run a couple of half’s. The only time I can work in time for a run is in the mornings- often before the sun is up. Running in the dark brings some challenges and dangers. I have some ideas you can consider if you are running or training in the dark.

The first issue is making sure you can be seen. There are numerous reflective vests and jackets that you can purchase. Some are solid and some are mesh. What I was concerned with was getting something that could be worn when it is pretty warm on some Texas mornings. The item that worked for me was the Amphipod- a reflective device that resembles the belts the patrol boys wore in school crossing zones. It’s light weight, reflective and even has a pocket for a small cell phone.

Cell phones are the second concern. I friend of mine was riding his bike early in the morning. He hit an obstacle and was thrown from the bike. He hit his head on the curb and received a serious head injury. He had no way to get assistance. Somehow he was able to make it home. He was in the hospital for more than two weeks, including a significant time in the ICU. From that time on, I decided (my wife certainly decided) that I needed to have a cell phone with me.

Although the Amphipod has a pocket for a cell phone, I found that even a small phone threw the balance and feel of the run off. What works for me is the Holdaphone. This is a Velcro clasp wristband with a clear pocket that holds the cell phone. A hole in the band allows the antenna to pass through and holds the phone snugly in place.

Keeping fit is important, but safety counts as well. Hopefully these tips will help. The links below will take you to the sites where you can research these products.

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