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One Grunt's Opinion: Fat Guys In Airsoft/Milsim

Darkhorse At Milsim Game

Here's a controversial topic to wrap your brain around. Social evolution, the media, and your doctor all say it's bad to be fat. Today in society, you have a fight being lead to change the negative image of what it means to be fat in society. I'm not here to tell you to embrace the curves and see the beauty, I won't bore you with that crap. I will keep it simple, I/we need to get in shape. Not to look more operator or to meet society's standard. But to show what the determination of a fat guy can do once aligned with the right kind of fitness. Not skinny or small but fit because small doesn't equal fit.

First, a little back ground on the subject. I played sports as a kid and we all know the standard the Army expects in the physical fitness of an infantryman. I've never been a skinny, little stick and never really wanted to be. Nowadays, I'm the poster boy for roundness and how bad it is. A combination of combat injuries, bad medical advice and good food got me to the round proportions I now flaunt. I also play airsoft so, I'm almost a walking cliché. Like many I've reached that point where I'm just not going to keep on this path. I especially know what it's like to be in awesome shape and combat effective.

I'm sure more than a few of you out there are reaching similar points in your life. Call it a new life course, a shift in lifestyle or a simple New Year resolution. Hopefully reading this, helps strengthen the likelihood of both our success. So let's look at fat guys in airsoft. Face the truth and look at the mistakes being made by the skinny and round alike.

The military demands a fit and capable soldier with the physical capability to endure on his or her mission for their country. You're physical fitness can mean the difference between life and death. It can mean the difference between accomplishing a mission or failing. So the military is not and cannot be sympathetic to the plight of the fat man. With airsoft's attempt to mirror military society, this feeling translates right over to many that play.

Athleticism in our society and the ideal image of the physically fit pushes against the fat man, too. We see lean, fast, athletic people and we equate a winner in general society. Every rule has its exception and I could sit here and tell you about many strong men or the sumo but we need to acknowledge the most common social notion. So it's a lot of pressure to fit into the mold and a lot hate for those that do not fit the ideal model. Whether athlete or operator we have an image. This image has to be met or you just don't qualify in the club.

Talk about a tough uphill battle for guys like me. You'll either need some tough, broad shoulders that just don't give a crap. Or, you'll have to hit the gym if you can't stand to be looked down at anymore.

If you're round be ready to be short of breath sooner, probably slower, and just a bigger target. I say become smarter, more skilled and willing to push farther. If you approach the field of battle this way you start to balance the weaknesses and find change in your ordinary life too. To many die hard players, airsoft part of daily life, so the attitude and philosophy on the field can have an impact on the mundane parts of everyday life.

(Round airsoft player that has become an internet meme. Original source unknown)

How do you become the smart, fat guy??? You study and understand warfare. Because the mind develops the strategy and finds clarity, while others are lost in the fog of war. You can know what a flank is but understanding its importance and how to exploit it is another thing. So be smart and then you can focus your energy much more wisely.

How do you become the skilled fat guy??? Training and experience, training and experience. No one was born a skilled shooter, no one was born a master of chaos. Watching videos and hoping the knowledge soaks in is not going to make you any better. Now here come the guys saying I'm my teams support gunner or DMR guy so I don't have to be fast. You're settling in your training for the least strenuous option. Skill comes from learning all the roles and maximizing your potential. I know guys will say that's just as hard if not harder work then simply being a rifle man. But I've seen way too many fat guys that settle because they think it'll keep them from having to push as hard on the field.

How do you become more willing to push harder? That is something that can't be taught. You have to find that within yourself or resolve yourself to being the fat slow guy in the back. I've yet to meet an Airsofter that didn't have the drive or desire in them, even if they don't show it that well. Everyone wants to win, everyone wants that hero moment where they overcome an enemy to capture an objective. So believe it or not, you have that drive to go farther. Strange enough I don't know anyone who wouldn't respect you for driving on an assault even if at the end you puke your brain out. Commitment and strength of heart define you and your desire to succeed.

Now it's not all about self-improvement and bringing yourself up to society's tough standards. That is just a fact of life and a big part of the puzzle. My big bone to pick is the underestimating of those guys that don't fit your perfect operator image. Hating on a fat guy in airsoft is like hating on a fat guy at the gym. He or she is out there physically active and clearly putting effort into the problem.

"Oh my god his gut is hanging out in the pic of him wearing all that high speed gear". 

"What a slob and bad image for the sport."

"Well, where is your beard baby face, can't be operator if you don't have it and look like you couldn't lift a gallon of milk with those stick arms?"

"The fat guy needs to find XXL uniforms, and you need extra smalls that they make in limited quantity for girls. Easy to see weakness and flaw."

What if you spend time talking to that fat guy and you find out he was a Ranger or a member of Special Forces before??? How quickly would your tune change and your view of the same person change??? Because hero worship of their accomplishments would win out, right??? You still don't respect or care for him really. You only care about the credentials and what you know about that. But until you learn those things you would continue to underestimate your opponent.

Now some of you will say you don't judge or underestimate people on the field no matter their size. I bet you don't hold it against them but you do judge and expect less. Why wouldn't you??? You should be assessing your friends and foes. It's part of the planning and decision making process. Push those guys and force them into the front of the fight.

This isn't a happy let's hold hands kind of world. Especially not airsoft full of its hard-asses and pretend hard-asses. If you're fat like me then personal improvement is what you should work on because nothing says kiss my ass better than running over your enemy on an objective. Personal improvement because being unhealthy in a way that can shorten your life is never good. Those of you casting hate and judgment on the fat man at the game are simply missing the most important aspect of the warrior kit. That's the part you can't buy online and make look good in a picture. If you don't know what that is then you should start searching.

Just one fat grunt's opinion,

Javier "Darkhorse"

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About The Author

Javier "Darkhorse" Franco, formerly from This Week In Airsoft, runs his own Airsoft Blog on Facebook called "One Grunt's Opinion." This article has been posted here with the author's permission.





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