In my past life (i.e. before getting my tandem certification) I was a personal fitness trainer. It seemed like a good job choice since I could work for myself and schedule my work hours around paragliding. However flying took over & I rarely train clients at the gym anymore. This means I rarely train myself anymore, unless of course it's raining.
My perspective on what "fitness" means has changed too, as I continue to feed my flying addiction. There is the literal flying fitness level - being able to do the little things effortlessly like carry your glider to launch or back to your car and running off launch without pulling a muscle (hey - I've seen it happen!). Personally I'm failing at this right now...my back started protesting Thursday morning from abusing it too much. Like getting dehydrated (my chiropractor said this also depletes the fluid in your spinal column which leaves you prone to back injuries...makes sense), and then throwing my tandem gear around without using the proper "bend your knees and lift" technique. I also went on a hike and fly with some friends...they hiked all the way up and I joined them until the halfway point since I volunteered to be the driver this time. It's sad to think that fun little hike could be the reason my back went out, but a good reminder to take care of yourself every day so you can prevent stuff like this happening.
The other side of being "flying fit" involves more of what I've mentioned as personal goals in the past...having a high physical & mental level of 'fitness' to be focused and stay in the air for a longer time. I think this side has really taken a back seat with all the tandems I've been flying this summer, but that's ok. It just means I'm going to have to "train harder" next time I go for a solo flight and want to fly XC again.
On a personal note, I'm moving at the end of this month to a new place. It's a little farther from my local flying site, but up on a small hill of it's own so I'll be able to practice the "fit" part of my goal and go for little hikes around my new neighbourhood. With a constant training schedule during the fall I should be able to go hiking soon without always being at the back of the line!
Halfway up the hike with my friends who flew off while I drove the car back around to the landing zone (on the other side of this mountain). Launch is still at the top of this peak (the trail zig zags up the face).