The greatest problem you will have to solve will be that of making your
body do the work required. Every one else will be doing exactly what you
are doing, and you have too much pride to want to take even a shorter
step than the man by your side. Some men have to leave the training
camps because they are not in the proper physical condition to go on
with the work. If this chapter is taken as seriously as it should be, it
will be of great help to you.
If you have not a pair of sensible marching shoes (tan, high-tops, no
hooks on them) get a pair. These shoes should be considerably larger
than a pair of office shoes.
Walk to and from your business. Take every opportunity to get out in the
country where the air is pure. Fill your lungs full. Get into the habit
of taking deep breaths now and then. Don't make this a task, but
surround it with pleasantries. Get some delightful companion to walk
with you. Walk vigorously.
Let down on your smoking. Better to leave it alone for a while. You will
enjoy the air. Deep breathing seems to be more natural.
Make it a work for your country. View it in that light. If you are not
going to be called upon to undergo the cruel hardships and physical
strain of some campaigns, your son will be, and you can be of great help
to him by being fit yourself. You and your sons will form the backbone
of America's strength in her next peril.
You will have a great deal of walking after you arrive in camp, possibly
a great deal more than you have ever had, and probably a great deal more
than you expect, even with this word of warning. If you have failed to
provide yourself with proper shoes and socks, great will be the price of
your lack of forethought. You will wince at your own blisters. You will
get no sympathy from any one else. It is the spirit of the camp for each
man to bear his own burdens. So arrive at camp with hardened legs and
broken in shoes. Don't buy shoes with pointed or narrow toes. They
should be broad and airy.
Immediately after you arise in the morning and just before you retire at
night, go through the following exercises for two or three minutes. In a
short time you may want to make it more. No objection. Give it a fair
trial. Be brisk and energetic. Forget, for the time being, what you are
going to get out of it. Give and then give more. The result will take
care of itself.