Fear and Weight Loss

When I was a newbie at Tracker School (see trackerschool.com) I wanted to go to the Scout class, which had the prerequisites of the week long Standard class, the week long Advanced Standard class, and the week long Advanced Tracking and Awareness class.  The scout class is also a week long class where during the day you learn techniques of the ancient Apache scouts, and by night your team is camouflaged and raiding other team’s camps till usually 2 or 3 am.  Most days there is a time in the afternoon where the students do exercises on a log over the swimming hole, walking the log, walking it blindfolded, jousting with out partner, and even blindfolded fighting to name a few.  For me, this sounded very exciting, but I was terrified of not being up to the physical element of the class.

Fear drove me to work very hard on getting in shape for the class.  I lost 25 lbs and was able to jog two miles without stopping.  Not too bad for a 47 year old mother of 9.

I was also afraid of the log work over the water, so I practiced walking on the narrow edges of 2 x 6 boards nailed to posts, both eyes open and blindfolded.  That preparation taught me a little of what to expect, and how to overcome my fear.  I ended up enjoying the log work more than anything else that week!

One of my teachers, Karl Direske, of Wilderness Fusion, told me, “There is only a fine line between fear and excitement.”  I can see that.  I was so excited to go to Scout class, but I was also afraid!

Sometimes the desire to do something can drive us to overcome our fear and accomplish something we really want to do.  In this case, I was afraid I would not be physically fit enough for the class.  My desire drove me to spend a couple years preparing both mentally and physically.  When I finally registered for the Scout class I was also registered for a Vision Quest class the week before, and an Ancient Scout class the week after.  One of the young men in my school, upon hearing my plan, thought three classes in a row would be too much for me and I vacillated about taking the three classes consecutively, but an older woman from the school said, “Go ahead and do it if you want to.  Don’t let him talk you out of it.  You’ll be fine.”  I did go ahead, and it was wonderful!  Not only did I succeed in the classes, I also lost another 25 lbs during those three weeks, and was finally down to my ideal weight!

Fear is the opposite of faith, but fear can be turned to faith through preparation.  That reminds me of a scripture I heard once . . . “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”   Well, whaddaya know, ha ha!

Still preparing for this summer!

Hello all!  Happy almost summer . . .


Above are a couple photos from my Advanced Standard Class at Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School in New Jersey.  These were taken a few years ago, but I’m gearing up for this survival experiment in Oregon so I thought I’d share a couple photos with you.  The top one is of me from our camouflage practice, and the bottom one is the inside of the debris hut I built for sleeping in.  It’s built like stick and leaf and debris cocoon that you wiggle into and plug up after you’re in.  It did keep me warm at night, without a sleeping bag, but I learned not to use moldy leaves!

I’m still in Florida, in the process of recovering from a minor surgery, but enjoying the silver lining of READING and lounging around, spending time with the kids and relaxing.

I’m re-reading “Tom Brown’s Field Guide To Nature And Survival For Children” which has some similar information as his “Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival”, but with a slant for children to give us adults some ideas for teaching this to them, including games to play!

As the time draws near to go to Oregon and quest for survival, I realize more and more how ill prepared I am!  I was grateful when I read in his book that it is important to prepare through the honing of wilderness skills BEFORE going into survival.  That makes good sense.

Will I actually go into full survival this summer?  I think it’s real to say that working toward that goal is the only thing that will actually push me enough to practice the skills like I should.  Set a date and work toward it!

I am also considering running a vision quest class this summer as well.  If I do it will most likely be the last week of August, but that could change at this point.

I’m excited to get to Oregon and spend time with family, and play some survival and awareness games with my grandchildren!

Oh, by the way, Tom has been teaching a lot of classes online lately.  I think he may continue to do so, which really enables more people to learn from him, especially those who can’t go to a physical class.  I have taken many of his online classes as have many of my friends.  We find them to be excellent.

Here’s the link to the school for anyone interested in his classes: