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Spies Can Be More Couch Potato Than Action Hero

Even if you're in military intelligence, the life of a spy is generally more couch potato than action hero. In order for a spy to be able to keep up with the sudden spurts of athleticism, coordination, and strength, a lot of training is required. Unlike cats, who seem to keep up their muscle tone no matter how terrifically they laze in sunbeams, secret agents require rather a lot of attention.

Thankfully, for cover's sake, the private club with its cigars and drams of scotch, have been popularly replaced with athletic clubs, and late night drinking binges have been replaced by early to bed in order to fit in weekend mileage for upcoming races and marathons.

In fact, in the last 20-years, keeping up enough training to maintain the fitness required to be able to quickly run down someone and take him out with a well-placed bullet while still being able to maintain breath discipline is now possible.

Here in DC, keeping in practice with small arms and long weapons is a snap, even if you're deep, well away from being able to drop into the range under the HQ. While DC gun laws are still pretty strict, Virginia is a veritable wonderland for gun enthusiasts. Enthusiast, not freak. If you drop by the range even a few times a week, its just good fun and healthy sport -- burning off a little steam, a relaxing and cathartic pastime.

That said, since there is very little oversight in the world of moles and since moles very rarely are actually given orders, self-discipline is essential; even so, spy spread is not uncommon. In many ways, spycraft is an intellectual endeavor, requiring succinct writing and analytical skills. Journaling and observation.

When a spy gets a little heavy, one can easily make excuses, "I'll blend in better if I am a little softer, just like everyone else," or, "I might have gained some weight but I am still strong and can kick your ass." Like every man getting older and fatter.

At the end of the day, however, training is essential because when the time comes when you're activated as an operational asset, wouldn't it be a pity to have a stroke or a heart attack in the middle of a maneuver.

That's why I have recently returned to roads around my apartment; that's why I have recently picked up a new pair of Nike Pegasus running shoes; and that's why I have been keeping a journal of my mileage, my blood pressure, and my weight.

I have spent my entire life awaiting an opportunity to die for my country -- Lord knows I don't want to keel over dead of my own neglect well before I have an opportunity to serve.

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