Staying in Shape on the Road: Adventuring Fitness

Kelemvor and Midnight (I Think)

This doesn’t come at all.  Why would it?  We kind of take it for granted that our adventuring heroes are in shape.  They usually start that way after training or . . . living in a farming village.  It’s rare that you see an out-of-shape adventurer unless you have a comic relief or a pampered type.  So, is this even worth thinking about?

No . . . Well, good-bye.

Seriously though, this is something I’ve been thinking of and never bothered to touch on because I always came up with the same answers.  Mostly that it isn’t worth touching on that often.  Show your warriors work out in the morning once or twice and people will assume it’s their routine.  Same goes for any character who shows even a single interest in exercise.  This is an area where a little goes a long way, but that’s not really necessary when you think about it.

Let’s take a character who isn’t a trained warrior and might not be in shape.  They’re now an adventurer who is traveling and getting into battles.  Their daily life is filled with the following:

  • Eating just enough to not be hungry
  • Walking a lot
  • Running
  • Fighting
  • Carrying all belongings
  • Climbing
  • Hunting

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s a lot of activity and working of the muscles.  That’s bound to have an effect on the body over time, especially if the person is training as they’re traveling.  This is what adventurers do, so they’re going to be in shape as long as they don’t take long breaks or find a way to get around most of that list.  Containers that hold a lot and items that create food can go a long way here.  Still, those don’t change the fact that adventurers live an active life.  Sedentary lifestyles aren’t their thing.

Think I would like to try for an adventurer who is at least not visibly in shape.  They can run, climb, and do all of that other stuff, but they get winded and are on the chubby side.  I might be doing that a little with Darwin Slepsnor, but he’s a halfling species that are normally a little chubby.  That and I’ve already established that he’s fast and durable, so it’s not going to be the same.  Maybe those who are out-of-shape wouldn’t be adventurers in the first place.  Need to think a bit more about that.

So, has anyone else ever wondered about this or am I just getting desperate for blog topics?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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9 Responses to Staying in Shape on the Road: Adventuring Fitness

  1. L. Marie says:

    I think this is a good topic. It’s definitely a subject covered in the Kung Fu Panda movies with Po being teased a lot for being out of shape. 😁 I’ve thought about it from the training sense, because that is what of the main characters in my book does. He complains about his brother’s inability to keep up on hikes and in fights because of his lack of stamina, which could get either of them killed.

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    • I think an added issue is simply finding time too. Traveling isn’t just walking and sitting in a camp that takes care of itself. So much prep work for only one night, so training on top of that seems challenging. It brings up the question of fatigue too. Then again, we tend to give our heroes unlimited stamina unless they’re designed to be out of shape.

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  2. I had to laugh at your last question. I think it is a great subject. I would love to see a character who gets out of breath and is maybe a little overweight. I think it would add a lot of depth. A scene of having to take out a muscle-bound warrior could lead to a decision to use brains instead of braun.

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  3. It could make an interesting bit of character development. I’ve never really thought about it before. I try to avoid instant master of weapons and such, but not the PE issues.

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  4. Victoria Zigler says:

    Personally I think more heroes who aren’t in shape should be given the oppertunity to go on adventures. Just because someone who happens to be on the round side and need to stop to catch their breath more often can’t run all the way there, doesn’t mean they can’t get there in the end. It would also increase the potential obstacles, since their lack of fitness would create some extra ones.

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    • I think it depends on the adventure. While it works at first, I think the simple act of physically pushing yourself through the obstacles would make one stronger. At least if it’s just being out of shape. Permanent disabilities are another thing.

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  5. Pingback: Staying in Shape on the Road: Adventuring Fitness – Urban Fishing Pole Lifestyle

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