Words by Aldo Kane
A while back I was locked in a nuclear bunker, in the dark, on my own, underground, with no tech, no comms, no reference to time and ZERO contact with the outside world above. Below is a condensed list of what I learnt and some of the things I took for granted…
1. ROUTINE AND DISCIPLINE
To keep focused I had to set my own routine and discipline myself to see it through. Boredom will get you. Get up, start the day and programme it hour by hour. The time will pass anyway; you may as well be productive.
2. THE JOY OF WINDOWS
Open them, soak it up, breathe it in. You don’t have to go outside to get fresh air and sunlight. In the old days there was a tax on daylight, now, it’s free.
3. ALONE BUT NEVER LONELY
Solitude was powerful, debilitating, enticing and complicated. I was alone but never lonely. Ultimately, once I had got to terms with myself, I was happy and found the experience truly uplifting and positive.
4. DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT
I was cut off from the world; I was out the loop. I made my own loop and reconnected with myself. In times of forced isolation enjoy reconnecting.
5. TIME DOES NOT FLY!
Especially when all the things you have to keep you busy have been taken away. Enjoy the slowing down of time, one day you will wish for those long seconds, minutes and hours back. I had no time reference and it felt like it stood still, for once.
6. EXERCISE WAS MY CHURCH AND RELIGION
It kept the demons at bay and the mind focused. ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ (healthy mind in a healthy body). Do something everyday, even if it’s just walking up the stairs.
7. WORMHOLES ARE RARELY EVER AS BAD AS YOU MAKE THEM OUT TO BE
Get your head right and deal with facts. A problem shared is a problem squared (away). I had a team of experts above ground that were looking out for me – trust the experts.
8. MENTAL WELLBEING
Mental health is directly linked to physical health, daylight and human interaction. I had none of those and wasn’t far from unravelling when I emerged above ground. Check on a pal, exercise and reduce the amount of news you are watching.
USING YOUR TIME...
During this time of enforced rest and recuperation, I am reading, writing and exercising. All of which help to keep my brain active and away from dark places. By setting yourself short and medium term goals with a daily timetable, you wont have time to be thinking about anything else.
I am using my time in isolation to train and read all the books I never can when I am working. 5 Recommended books from me are:
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Psycho - Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
The Old Man & The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
South by Sir Ernest Shackleton
For me fitness should be able to be done anywhere with absolutely minimal kit. I often spend many weeks and months away from home and rarely have a gym to use. My weekly routine looks like 4 sessions of Calisthenics type workouts, one session of flexibility and mobility and three Cardiovascular/Running sessions a week.
I am about to publish "Expedition Fit" which is a fitness programme that I have been using over the last year. It's the same programme that got me in shape for the Mens Health Cover shoot this month.