Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Of course as anyone has already seen, you can't scroll through your social media now days without seeing numerous posts of hunters and huntresses making sure everyone knows they made it to the gym. Then on the other hand, you have your MTN Ops cronies, Warrior Fuel gang, Dark Energy followers, Wilderness Athlete posy, as well as hand full of other groups making sure you know why they are taking a certain brand of supplements. I have always been okay with these posts, but something about them has also always rubbed me a little wrong. I could never put my finger on it until the other day when I was at a family reunion and a distant Uncle of mine started talking to me about supplements and social media. At first I was annoyed and automatically tuned him out, but then I realized he was mocking social media and the over beaten topic of fitness and supplements. This started a great conversation with he and I which I wanted to share with you all as well as open it up to your opinion. As a reminder this is my opinion. You can agree with it or not, but my opinion is just as right as your opinion as our lives and situations are different. :)
Point #1 - Fitness is NOT hunting!!!! Yes, I said it... I don't care how much they overlap or how much one affects the other, they are TWO DIFFERENT TOPICS! Anyone with two bits of a brain knows how you must be physically fit to hunt. Also, anyone with the same two bits of a brain would know that you don't have to be in body building shape to hunt. Does being more in shape make the hike in easier and less painful? Of course. If you are out of shape are you not allowed to purchase a hunting license or a tag? NO! Lets be clear about people like Cameron Hanes, as much as he does for the industry and hunting, he has two very intertwined passions of his life: 1) Fitness/Body Building, and 2) Hunting. Even though his fitness and bodybuilding influences his hunting, they are two different passions. This is true for Cameron Hanes as well as EVERYONE ELSE WHO HUNTS!
Point #2 - You can love one and not the other. I love hunting.... I mean I LOVE hunting. I also love working out. As a former athlete and coach I am an advocate of being fit and maintaining a healthy life style. As much as I love both of these aspects of my life, I would never look at anyone differently if they loved the one without loving the other. If you love hunting but wish to do so while eating a dozen doughnuts in your ground blind, GO FOR IT! Love it! Enjoy the hell out of those doughnuts and I hope you get a great animal while on your hunt. Yes I know that was a dumb analogy but come on people, we don't need to be "powered by ___________" while we are on our hunts. I know many people who's only physical activity for the whole year is hunting season. Yes they are out of shape, yes they know it and wish they weren't, but they also love hunting and they don't let their lack of fitness stop them from pursuing their passion of hunting. Regardless of what social media portrays, you can love one without having to love the the other. You can love hunting and have ZERO involvement in weight lifting, supplement taking, Accubows, or fitness routines.
Point #3 - Sheep... lets be honest about something... Things such as "The Industry", "Pro-Staff", "Field-Staff", "Adventure Team" seems to be so inclusive and involves all of us... Yet when EVERYONE is talking about being part of a team, pro-staff, or bla bla bla bla, we are turning into a hunting community where everyone gets a trophy... We complain about these "snowflakes" in the mainstream media talking about how delicate and pathetic they are, yet turn around and create an environment where everyone is special and deserves to be famous on social media because they are associated with some supplement company. I don't care what supplements you take, I don't care how much time you spend in the gym, I don't care who's butt you kissed to promote yourself... I do care that you love hunting. I do care that you do good in all the circles you are in. I do care that you respect the animals and land you enjoy during hunting season. I do care that you are a law abiding citizen and follow the laws of the land as well as ethically pursue the animal of your choice through the means of your choosing. Don't fall into the trap or enticement of becoming something special just because you take MTN Ops like the rest of the one million sheep... I will say companies like MTN Ops are great! They do a lot of good and want to give back! I am in no way putting any company down or one company above another. I am speaking in general terms using what is "popular" on our social media. Also (and this is my biggest pet-peeve on this topic) stop creating an atmosphere where it's the MTN Ops cronies against the Warrior Fule or the Wilderness Athlete cronies or vice versa. Social media is getting so clicky on who you support, what supplements you take, or what camo you wear. Stop being sheep, don't do things or take things into your body just because someone tells you to... Do what works for you. Remember it doesn't matter what supplements you take or even IF you take ANY supplements, what matters is that you hunt. That even goes for me, I write this post sharing my thoughts, If you don't agree that's fine. Don't change or do something different just because someone like me shares their thoughts. Do what works for you!
Regardless of what supplement you believe in, ask yourself how did you ever survive without it 5 years ago? The way we are portraying it on social media is that if you didn't have "X" then some of you would have never been able to get up that mountain, cross that canyon, or to pack out your harvest... If that is true for you, then heaven forbid... I am SOOO glad you found that supplement because I would have hated to run into you on the mountain without it...
I will say, I am glad many hunters are wanting to improve their physical fitness to help them while hunting. Everything I do, relates in one way or the other with hunting. I also will never pretend to believe that everyone has to live a life like mine in order to hunt or love hunting the same way I do. What works for me is what works for me. If you love taking your supplements keep doing it! Will you see a difference? Maybe, depending on your lifestyle, work ethic, and pure luck. If it's one more thing you want to do to feel like you are giving it your all, then more power to you. BUT lets remember that they are still two different areas of your life.
I will confess, I have taken supplements, and I also feel the ones I took were great! I am in no way condemning taking supplements but rather making a stand to point out the gym photos, supplement photos, and "gains" selfies are getting a bit much.
Hunting season is starting in many states, so lets focus our attention on pursuing the outdoors. If you want to keep posting the gym selfies then go for it. When you include the #elkshape #huntfit or one of the other million trendy hashtags I'll just roll my eyes, like your photo, and move on. Just remind yourself once and a while that those supplements you are saying are so necessary were not around a few years ago and hunters did just fine without them so stop pretending they are THEE key factor to hunting success...