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Nestled between the cattails, you sit at the ready, still, yet unbelievably attentive. Feeling focused? And yet, here we see how the endurance comes into play but also the concept of meditation.

Gabrielle Andersen

Meet Bridget Verdillo

As a staff member, let me share a little secret about the employees at Fitness Incentive; we don’t just work here, we work out here too! We train here, actively participate in fitness events (endurance, lifting, bodybuilding, etc.), and we have hobbies that cross over between fun and wellness.

That being said, I would like to introduce you to my fellow FI employee, Bridget! As many of you know, Bridget is often the first face you see when walking in the door or the last one you see when you leave. Her personality shines through in her desk presence, and her willingness to problem solve is unwavering. But did you know Bridget is an accomplished hunter? Now you do! I spent some time with her to learn more about her hobby, and discovered how much endurance the sport can require while uncovering some other tidbits about hunting that had not even crossed my mind!

Bridget Verdillo
Here are three things we learned about Bridget and hunting:
  1. Endurance
  2. Meditation
  3. Sustainability and the environment

To start, Bridget typically spends 2-3 days out in the field hunting, whether it’s turkey, duck, or goose. With early morning wake ups at 3 am, set up which can take 2 hours and then the ever monotonous wait, she is out there for ~8 hours. But let’s not forget all of her gear too! Between the gear (weather pending) and the equipment necessary for the day’s hunt, she could be wearing in excess of 20 pounds! Honestly, I’m not even sure what workout could prepare you for that!

Aside from the long day and the excess weight, there is a lot of silence involved. Transport yourself, surrounded by wetlands, dark greens and browns fill your periphery, a bit damp as you sit on an elevated seat, and so it begins. Nestled between the cattails, you sit at the ready, still, yet unbelievably attentive. Feeling focused? And yet, here we see how the endurance comes into play but also the concept of meditation. The ability to remain that still and attuned to what’s happening around you. Ultimately, you are performing polar opposite functions at the same time. I can hear the synapses firing with efficiency. You’re listening to your surroundings; swaying reeds, trickling water, the flutter of bird wings. You’ve engaged all of your senses, and you’re almost back to your primal self. You’re seeing within you, where you’ve come from, your connection to this moment. There is nothing to give your attention to but this exact moment, to be present, understanding and accepting of what is going on around you. In a world surrounded by constant “connection,” here is a moment where you are surrounded by nature, acting on your innate skills whether that be hunting or gathering.

Of course in these natural settings, the environment is a key factor, but to Bridget, it’s not just what is around her. Hunting rules need not apply. Bridget sets her own limits on what she hunts, and while she can bring home a plethora of food (of course, this isn’t strictly for sport), she catches and brings back only what she can eat. She has learned to harness the potential of these animals and is thankful for the opportunity to learn and practice these survivalist skills.

Through our conversation, Bridget found a quote that rang quite true to her experiences:

            “The hunter that travels out in the woods is lost to the world, yet finds himself.”

And with that, she looks forward to delving deeper into herself and her hobby, drawing stronger connections to the environment and continually growing.

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About the Author

Gabrielle Andersen

Gabrielle Andersen works the front desk at Fitness Incentive. This is her first feature article for Fit to Print.

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