I am out of shape and clinically overweight. My body mass index (BMI) of 27.2 puts me squarely in the middle of the “overweight” category; to give you the exact and unflattering breakdown I’m 5’11” tall and I weigh 195 pounds (to check your own BMI click here).
That’s pretty sad. I used to be somewhat athletic. Now, given my rather sedentary lifestyle — I sit in front of a computer for 8-10 hours a day, typing on a keyboard — I’m a lethargic, paunchy shell of my former self. It’s definitely starting to show. I hate to admit it but I have two chins! That’s two chins when I’m looking straight ahead. When I look down it’s even worse, my neck and jaw morph into what I can only describe as jowls. Yikes!
I’m tempted to make the standard excuse, “I’m just getting older, and that happens with age,” but the reality is I know I can do something about it. I know I can get into shape. But that on its own isn’t enough. Sometimes I need a little inspiration to get the ball rolling.
Enter the NRA Freestyle’s “I Am Forever,” a web series hosted by fitness expert Isaiah Truyman and veteran Green Beret John Wayne Walding in which the two men create a training routine for athletic shooters. For the show, which premieres in March 2015, the guys train high school senior Reagan Tyler in both fitness and in shooting to improve her skill sets in each discipline.
I’m excited to watch it. But I’m even more excited to learn something from it and to use it as inspiration to hopefully get my six-pack back (or a four pack, hell, I’ll settle with a two pack) and become a more accurate and consistent shooter. Maybe you can do the same. Maybe not. Either way, I’d like to hear your opinions on “I Am Forever.” But before you give feedback, check out this Q&A with Mr. Truyman.
S.H. Blannelberry: Let’s start with the title, “I Am Forever,” can you talk about the origin of the title?
Isaiah Truyman: I did not create it so can not speak to it’s origin as much as what it has come to mean for all of us involved. It’s really about the mindset; that we must earn our greatness everyday, nothing is given for free. If you have talents, they are gifts, but an individual must still work hard to become great. I Am Forever means that the journey is the key, not the end result. It is about the never ending pursuit of greatness…. A winning attitude.
S.H. Blannelberry: From your perspective, what is an “athletic shooter”?
Isaiah Truyman: An individual who is equal parts athlete and marksman. In real life pulling the trigger is not what separates great individuals from average ones, it’s all about getting to the right position, at the right time, with your focus intact, and being able to endure the physical challenges and marksmanship challenges as equally important parts of a successful mission. Whether military, hunting, law enforcement, personal protection or just for fun. Going to the range and slinging lead mindlessly is not the path to greatness alone, an individuals physical self must be as finely tuned as the weapon held to achieve their full potential.
S.H. Blannelberry: How do you respond to critics who argue that physical exercise and shooting are completely different realms and that being proficient at one in no way guarantees success in the other?
Isaiah Truyman: I would agree, just because your a great marksman doesn’t mean I can’t run you around the block a few times – and poof, there goes the accuracy under stress. And vice versa, no great athlete is automatically an experienced shooter. But one without the other is like trying to grow a plant with water or sunlight, you need both for the magic to happen… Our goal is to help facilitate the development of the greatest marksman in the world. To do this they must be physically and mentally fit as well as great shot. I think it would be hard to find anyone who could argue with that, and the results speak for themselves…
S.H. Blannelberry: When I think about the periods in my life I had the most success staying physically fit, there were two common dominators: (1) I lived in walking distance to a gym and (2) I made working out part of a larger daily routine. I think those are my keys to staying active and healthy. What has your experience taught you? What are the keys to staying engaged in daily exercise?
Isaiah Truyman: Close proximity to home is critical, but there are a lot of different kinds of interest, some people hate gyms, only work-out outside, or in the privacy of their own home etc. There are many paths to success…
Generally you need a start and end date for a program to become committed (I’ll try this for 90 days and see how it works for me). Typically we need a cause that we believe in to stay motivated (I need a girlfriend, I want to look good for my vacation, I want to live to see my grandchildren etc). And lastly most of us need a valid program or professional to help guide the best use of our time in pursuit of the results we desire… The buddy system. Otherwise we tend to loose interest.
S.H. Blannelberry: What can the viewer expect to learn from watching the show?
Isaiah Truyman: Expect to see something totally new, fresh and never been done before. This show is an adventure and an experiment in greatness, so I think we will all learn a lot about looking at something familiar from a different perspective, and hopefully learning a lot from the experience.
***Big thanks to the National Rifle Association, the “I Am Forever” team, and Mr. Truyman.