I’ve been lucky to stay in good health. I’ve always been skinny, even though I carry a little more weight around my belly than I would like. I’ve never had any major injuries or illnesses. However, at 40-years-old, parts just don’t seem to work as well as they used to, and I don’t recover quite as quickly.

I received some great advice from Kristy Titus, and with the help of Wilderness Athlete, planned to follow Couch P’s plan for Tripod Living. Kristy suggested ways to address healthier eating and a basic plan for exercise. One of her greatest pieces of advice was to get sore now—don’t wait until opening day to feel fatigue and exhaustion. Since running is hard on joints, she also recommended crossfit-style workouts and hiking with a backpack. As for Couch P, his Tripod Living mantra involves healthy eating, exercise, and high-quality supplements.

I had some very strong aspirations to get in better shape for this hunt, but I didn’t do anywhere near as much as I hoped.I’ll start with my successes, and then end with my failings.

I first started eating better. Since I am on the road for at least a few days a week, it’s easy to load up on Mickey D’s and Wendy’s. I especially like Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers and fries! I didn’t stop eating out, but I did start choosing menu items with a little less fat and that were a little less fried. When I did get a chance to sit down for a meal, I chose grilled chicken dishes and fish. Because of these changes, I don’t feel as sluggish and feel healthier overall. It might just be in my mind, but I definitely empowered myself to make better eating decisions.

Next, I worked on some specific problem areas. On an elk hunt last year I twisted my ankle very badly, and it has hurt nearly every day since. In addition, I have pain from an old wrist injury and some minor back pain. Luckily, my wife is a physical therapist so she set me up with a ton of great stretches and exercises designed to help alleviate specific pains. All three areas are feeling better than ever. There is no doubt that I will continue with these!

Now for my failings…I did not exercise as much as I should have. I am a little worried how my body will react to an eight-day hunt. I didn’t do any crossfit training, and didn’t hike, bike, or swim like I planned. I did a little, but not a lot. Many days I felt like working out but it was at inconvenient times like when on a plane or driving. By the time I got to the hotel at night, my workout bug had flown off. I will be relying on my general overall health to get through this hunt.

My next failing involved supplements. I started taking probiotics and Wilderness Athlete Multi-Vitamins, and regularly used the Wilderness Athlete Meal Replacement and Protein Plus supplements. I don’t usually eat a very big breakfast so the shakes got me through to lunch. However, I didn’t do it as consistently as I should have, and since I didn’t work out very often, I didn’t use the Pre-Workout tablets.

Over time, I will continue to work on improving my health. I know that as I drift further over the hill, everything to do with health and exercise will only get harder. I will continue to focus on making the time, keeping off excess weight, and eating right. I know my family will continue to support me, so hopefully I will do better.

For now, I will probably get tired and sore quicker than I should when my hunt starts. However, I will use my desire to find a big bull to override my lack of preparation. I will rely on the things I have done well—healthier eating and focusing on specific problem areas. In addition, I’ll continue to work on exercising more often and using Wilderness Athlete.


Trent Swanson, a Colorado native, is the Mountain Territory Sales Rep for SWAROVSKI OPTIK. You might recognize his name since he used to work with us here at Western Hunter. Heis a self-professed “optics nerd” who has been chasing big game critters for nearly 30 years. You can find the rest of the blog posts about his Colorado elk hunt here.