I again plan to be prepared for the unforeseen by getting into better shape. Life’s challenges sneak up on us as we get older. I want to be better prepared for the physical demands of my outdoor pursuits. Part of this is to anticipate what might happen and plan accordingly (equipment, emergency supplies, what if’s). Also, fitness in the legs gives one the reassurance that the bottom (your bottom) won’t drop out from under you during a stressful event. I recently talked to an elderly flyfisher. Now in his mid 70’s and seemingly active and planning trips to Montana, SE Oregon and Belize, I remarked about his energy. He had but one bit of advice…not about diet or drinking a glass of wine. He said keep your legs fit by walking and hiking and you will be ok. Seeing as now I feel my heart racing and my breathing increasing as I quickly climb a few flights of stairs….I am too young to let my fitness slip away. No running for me, but more walking and hiking. One thing I have also noted: our slow, shuffling walking shortens our stride and shortens our muscles. Walking should be brisk and attention should be paid to lengthening the stride. I want to be prepared for the odd encounter in the outdoors and also those long days walking the river banks.