An Alaskan Wilderness Dream Come True
At the most basic level, functional fitness refers to exercises that improve daily activity. But what does “functional fitness” really mean to the individual? For some, it’s being able to chase and pick up their grand kids, for others it may be that they are looking to be more physically fit than they are now. Then there are folks that walk into the gym because they have a certain goal on their bucket list and they know our challenging training regimen will help them achieve that dream.
Brad Larsen is a longstanding member of Comal Active. He’s in his early 40’s and it’s been his goal for many years to complete what is called the “Grand Slam of North America” which entails harvesting all four species of mountain sheep that reside in very different climates and terrain within our continent. Now, this isn’t your typical weekend out at the deer lease with a cooler full of beer and your best buddies’ kind-of-hunt! Pursuing these animals is extremely physically demanding and the conditions are typically extreme.
Brad’s first expedition, his hunt for the Dall’s sheep, was booked to take place in the Brooks Range of Alaska which is inside the arctic circle. As Brad put it, “There’s only one way in and one way out. And that’s by airplane.” His small single-engine plane had to take off and land on a makeshift landing strip close to the river. His base camp was so deep in the wilderness, “you can’t walk-out, boat-out, or drive-out. It’s so remote even horses can’t get you out of there!”
This experience isn’t for the faint of heart, and going into it Brad understood he could be out in the elements for up to several weeks while on the expedition of a lifetime. While many things could go wrong, the last thing he would want to happen after paying a hefty price tag would be to start the journey only to find that he wasn’t physically prepared. Brad would have to endure carrying more than 80 pounds of food, gear and supplies on 10-12 mile stretches between the various camp sites along the way. All of this adventuring taking place at elevations exceeding 7,000 feet.