Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Zompoc 101-Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Now that we've explored some of the theories on how the zombie outbreak could occur and some ways to prepare, it's time to talk about survival after the zombies have taken over. Specifically, fitness and social interactions. If you're going to survive, you might as well have fun doing it.


Fitness is key in a post-apocalyptic zombie scenario. Some fitness traits I think would be vital include endurance, strength, and agility.


Why endurance? Simple. If you're going to fight off (or even run away from) the zombie hoards, you're going to want to keep that up until your safe. That may take a while.

Consider your surroundings. If you're holed up in a smaller shelter or have limited space, leverage stationary activities, like jumping jacks or jumping rope, high knee running in place, or martial arts (just punches and kicks).

If you have more room, consider running or jogging, dance or even step aerobics. If you do practice martial arts and you have the room, practice your forms or even your weapons techniques.

Wear your armor and practice with your bladed and blunt weapons. (see Zompoc 101-Prepping your Weapons Cache). Not only will you build your skill, but you'll have the endurance to apply it.


As with any fitness regimen, balance is important. Don't neglect your strength training in favor of more entertaining pursuits. You want to be strong enough to load that crossbow, swing that bat or slash that zombie with the broadsword you bought at Comic Con. But that's not the only reason to buff up.

Remember, it's all you after the zombies take out civilization. You want a new wall? You're building it. You want a cart? Same. Gardening isn't just planting flowers, you'll need strength to manage your compost heap, till, turn your soil, aerate and, of course, harvest.  If you have animals, you'll need to be strong enough to handle them.


Finally, agility. You won't win many fights if you're slow or unable to switch directions. You need to build your agility and speed. This also takes practice. Spar with your companions, practice martial arts (several forms are designed to build agility), play tag.  You can also do things like the tire run they do in football or build yourself a gauntlet, if you're really frisky.

Social Interactions

Don't feel like you have to go it alone to survie the zombie apocalypse. Human beings are social creatures. We need companions and social order. Without them, we risk losing who we are. We also risk going insane.

Zompoc Buddies

Start a club (or three) and get some friends involved. Maybe you can hone your gardening skills or take up quilting. Build those skills with your friends, so that when the end comes, you won't be the only one who can knit a sweater in three hours flat, plus you'll build some quality friendships with folks who can pull their weight.


Just because the zombies are clawing at the doors doesn't mean you can't have fun. Celebrate birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. Make up new holidays as you go. These things remind us of the people we love, the feats we admire, our history, and our future. Don't just survive, live.


Well, maybe that's the wrong word for it, but you will want some sort of social structure or heirarchy in place to encourage and enforce behaviors that will ensure you and yours will survive. The group's dynamics can make or break your survival efforts.


Embrace those things that make us human. Paint, sculpt, play music, dance, and teach. Learn a new hobby. Start a book club. You get the picture.

The Difference between Surviving and Living

Basically, take care of shelter, food and water, basic things like that. Then move on to your higher order needs, like companionship, sense of belonging and enrichment. After all, if it truly is the end of civilization as we know it, it's up to those who survive to rebuild, to love, and to keep the human race going.

Don't just survive, live.

Do you have any zombie survival tips? Share them in the comments.

This is Zompoc 101 #4 of 4.  I think the idea of zombies is an intriguing and, of course, scary one, particularly because of the ramifications it would have on how we live, love, and deal with loss. I spent a month in November 2012 imagining myself in just such a survival situation. Would I follow, or would I lead? Would there be a place for friends, room for love? Would I still be able to enjoy the finer things in life, like reading, celebrating holidays, or even having children? And of course, the big question, would I survive?  

These four Zompoc 101 posts summarize some of the theories I formed and ideals I imagined during that time. I would like to believe I would handle myself as well as my heroine, at least eventually. Or maybe I'd be more like one of those who joined her small band. 

I hope you've enjoyed this detour into the world of life after zombies. I certainly have. While I don't think we really have much to worry about in this regard, it never hurts to think through the possibilities and perhaps even come away with some ideas that could be applied to a regular, non-zombie infested world.



A survivor's account of the zombie apocalypse

After a vaccine meant to protect against a biological weapon backfires and turns those who are inoculated with it into zombies, a young woman, having survived the initial outbreak, now runs with a group of others who stick together for safety, not that it does them much good. When she picks up a notebook in a grocery store her group is looting, she decides to begin a journal for future generations (if there are any). (NaNoWriMo 2012)

Fearless is available at Amazon and other fine stores!

Fearless on Amazon.com