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Zombies, Run!: Keeping Fit and Living Well in the Current Zombie Emergency
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The Book > Week Four: Fit for Battle

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Lulu (robotwitch) | 19 comments Mod
We’ve all had to face the fact that we have to get Fit for Battle if we want to survive.

Of course, battle should be avoided in the first place whenever possible. We have to be level-headed and ensure we don’t, if you pardon the phrase, bite off more than we can chew.

But just in case we do come face-to-face a massive horde of zombies, the Ministry has tons of advice on how to survive those encounters.

Battle Basics

The first thing that the Ministry would like to drill in is the fact that fighting a zombie is not like fighting a human being. Humans are instinctual and can be tricked. Zombies won’t fall for your feint, they’ll just keep on coming because they are too stupid to do otherwise. Equally, we have to keep in mind that zombies will not stop just because you’ve injured them. Take crawlers, for instance, who keep on gnashing and writhing away, no matter how little is left of them.

The most important things to do are to a) destroy the head and b) don’t get viscera in your eyes, mouth or nose. That doesn’t necessarily mean running into battle with your eyes closed, but you’ll certainly want some long-range weaponry.

I doubt I can manage hauling a piece of bed frame around with me, but I’m sure I’ll get along just fine with a chair leg that has a tin can knife nailed to it. From the variety of weapons suggested, it’s obvious why duct tape is worth more than gold these days.

Using that and the swinging basic training exercises, I should be able to spear a few zombies.

What will your makeshift weapon of choice be?

Advance Exercises

The Ministry has provided some exercises for those of you that scoff in the face of regular push ups.

That’s right. We’re talking about one-arm push ups and pull ups. I have yet to master the incline push-up, let alone a pull up, so I’ll have to get practicing.

Still, the book lays out a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to working your way up to both of these exercises. One-arm push up training can only begin when you can successfully do 15 regular push-ups. While you might start off doing the push-ups one-armed from a table, eventually the aim is to work your way down to the floor..

You can start training for pull-ups with the table pull-ups outlined in The Home Front. Before you begin classic pull-ups, the Ministry and myself would like to emphasise the need to find something sturdy before you begin.

Will any of you take on this challenge? Or are you still working your way up to these strength exercises?

Fighting Styles & Training

The five-point plan provides golden rules to live by, literally.

On the other side of those sombering instructions, the two-person training game suggested in this chapter fills me with glee. What a great way to blow off steam and spike that adrenaline, especially if combined with the “inuit” games suggested in Building a Community. I imagine it will end with a fit of giggles, and I cannot wait to try it out.

The Chase-and-Ambush Strategy sounds like the best two-person fighting style for beginners, and allows at least one of the runners to stay safe. For runners who know each other well, you can perhaps “level up” to the McShell Manoeuvre, but ensure that you practice regularly. I know I won’t be risking that one for a while!

Will you be trying any of these techniques? If so, which ones?

Fighting the Old Fashioned Way

The push ups and pull ups mentioned above will be very helpful if you decide to try your hand at archery, as the Ministry suggests. Pulling a bow and arrow is no easy task, if summers at camp have taught me anything. You’ll need to practice your aim, too, to ensure clean kills and no wasted arrows.

Or you can Dennis the Menace your way around the zombie apocalypse with a slingshot! The Ministry even provides a step-by-step on how to build such a thing, though these take a lot of skill to be accurate.

Lastly, when it comes to sword fighting, we can all learn from Mrs CL of Longbourn’s bleak tale of her husband’s demise. It’s yet another reminder that we shouldn’t be playing the hero - nor showing off, in Mr CL’s case.

Still, sword fighting is a useful skill to learn. You don’t have to worry about reloading, aim is not nearly as important, and it’s much quieter than a bullet, attracted less zombies. The most important thing to remember is to stick them with the pointy end.

Have you ever tried your hand at archery, sword fighting or fencing? What about using a slingshot? How did you find them?

Man’s Best Friend

Dogs, according to the Ministry, are impervious to the zombie infection. This means that dogs can be used as protection. Try to ensure you pick a fiercely loyal dog, who also likes to cuddle up at night. The lack of central heating in most zombie shelters and townships these days mean the winters can be bitterly cold, and a dog can provide some much needed heat.

They are also fantastic companions for anyone on their own out there, and taking them for their walks is a great way to exercise without being able to put it off. It’s much harder to shirk the responsibility of checking your perimetre if you have a dog desperate for walkies!

Sticky Situations

There are times when the tide turns against us when we’re out for a run. During those events, the Ministry has provided information on how to escape from hordes or fields of crawlers, and for how to deal with the ever-dreaded child zombies.

The biggest take away for me here was to always carry something nosey with me, so I can attach it to a zombie in the horde or throw it in another direction to stop those pesky zombies from following me back to my base - or, you know, devouring my brains.

Waking up in a tree to find crawlers surrounding you seems like something out of a nightmare, but it could be our grim reality these days. If you’re running, it’s harder to justify heavy boots, but in any other situation, you might want to pick some up on your next raid of the local army surplus store.

Child zombies are another matter entirely, and I’m grateful the Ministry takes such good care of our mental health in these situations. I will definitely be keeping their mantra in mind - you are killing the virus that has already killed the zombies, you are not killing a person.

My Zombie Kill Strategy

At the beginning of this section, you might have noticed a box for filling in your kill strategy. Like me, you might want to read the full chapter before you decide on exactly what steps you want to take. Of course, you have to keep yourself adaptable for any scenario, but this is just for your “first response”.

Maybe you’re a little braver than me, though.

What is your kill strategy after reading this section? Have any of your initial thoughts been changed with your new knowledge? Are there any skills from this section you’d like to try your hand at?

Let me know what you thought of this section, and, as always, feel free to talk about anything from this section that I haven’t included in this post!

Denali (yarnbard) | 10 comments I appreciated the training exercises to improve combat skills with a basic weapon. When I'm back at a location with more interior space, I'm hoping to put together a dummy and grab a stick or a broom and try out the training regime!

My push-up skill isn't good enough to try one-arm push-ups yet, but I hope to eventually work up to that, and am glad to have detailed, precise instructions for how to do that! Unfortunately, I don't really have the space for pull-ups where I'm currently living, so I'm saving that for when I next move.

My zombie kill strategy is also something along the lines of: "run away," but the slingshot looks like a really handy weapon. My hobbit thief character in D&D is absolutely deadly with hurled rocks, so maybe I could try and channel her!

message 3: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol (clbfreeman) | 15 comments This was an interesting chapter! I've always gotten bored very easily with standard "exercise". I was never one for going to the gym and have been struggling to keep up with training exercises from earlier in the book.

I have always done well with exercise in the form of sports, games, or dance. Something that keeps my mind engaged. The training exercises in this chapter fit into that category for me! I especially love the idea of the two-person training with one person pretending to be a zombie. I might modify this to use something sturdier than paper for the Zombie mask however, I do t want to end up with marker all over my face if the paper rips for example :) This activity seems like a great way to hone your skills in both fighting and observation while also having fun and bonding with someone.

I also look forward to trying my hand at archery! I've done this a couple times in the past and always enjoyed it. Being able to make your own bow and arrows would lap be a great creative outlet and could be a group bonding activity that would fit in well with some of the topics from earlier chapters.

I'll definitely keep doing some training with my dogs since they can be such a great help against Zombies!

I have the benefit of being married to a fencer! We actually have a number of swords in our house. Until I can get more training in and develop my arm strength I am definitely sticking with an alternate means of protection. Those swords can indeed be quite heavy! They take a fair amount of skill to wield effectively!

I look forward to trying out the various suggestions in this chapter.

message 4: by Lulu (new)

Lulu (robotwitch) | 19 comments Mod
Denali - I'm glad I'm not the only one who plans to run away. Definitely try to channel your D&D character! I unfortunately play as a very stupid half-Orc with a gigantic greatclub, so I'm not sure that'll come in useful for me...but it is a good idea nonetheless!

Carol - Sounds like you like to have fun while training, and not to be as solitary. That's respectable - do you have any kind of exercise you favour over others from the categories you listed?

Eek, I imagine they are heavy! Still, it'll help as long he doesn't try a feat of heroics such as the case study in this chapter. Let me/us know how you get on if you do try them!

message 5: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol (clbfreeman) | 15 comments Yes, I do like to have fun while training and I don't enjoy the solitary training as much, though I did surprise myself when I started running. Running is one solitary activity I do enjoy (although I love the company of my dogs on a run). One of my neighbors talked about maybe going out together sometime, I am a bit hesitant, I enjoy the time to reflect and have a little me time.

My favorite exercise has always been martial arts. I am actually a black belt in Tae kwon do. I also love Zumba and Yoga. I think the martial arts training is going to be very useful for me in the apocalypse, though you do have to still be very careful! I will also have to get used to doing my moves in shoes, we always practiced barefoot but I don't think that is such a good idea in the apocalypse for so many reasons!

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