To the general public, the San Diego Comic-Con appears as a sort of “Disney World for grown ups.” However, if you’ve attended this geektastic celebration before, you know what it really is: a four-day marathon that pushes attendees to both their psychical and mental breaking points.
Comic-Con is a mind-blowing yet grueling experience. Sleeping and eating are of the lowest importance. In fact, when I see someone gleefully holding over 75 pounds of swag while standing in line for a Robert Kirkman autograph, my initial thought is, “that person’s probably injecting shots of testosterone.”
If you’re unprepared, you’ll leave the convention with nothing more than a few stickers and a blurry photo of a guy who may or may not be Stan Lee.
Luckily, the world’s biggest nerd festival is still a week away, which means you have time to prepare your body. Below are a few training exercises that will ensure you have a successful Con and maybe, just maybe, make it to the front rows of Hall H.
1. Stand in place for eight straight hours
If I had to sum up Comic-Con in three words it would be: standing in line. Panels, autographs, collectibles, demos, giveaways – regardless of what you want to do, you’ll have to spend hours in a fixed upright position before doing it.
Since your lower body isn’t used to being exhausted on a daily basis, you’ll be in pure agony every night. Stand in place for eight hours to get your legs ready for their upcoming workload and avoid having them give out in the middle of the Hasbro Toy Shop line.
Note: Disregard this tip if you’re going as Professor X.
2. Walk nine miles with an 80-pound backpack
Comic-Con isn’t limited to the San Diego Convention Center. Glorious events take place all over downtown, which means if you’re not standing in line, you’ll be walking.
But remember, you’ll be lugging around a backpack full of promo items that will weigh more than Megatron. To best prepare for this upcoming test of endurance, go for a couple of long-distance power walks wearing a backpack filled with sand.
3. Spend a night sleeping on your driveway
Excited to see the Walking Dead panel? Great, so are 75,000 other attendees. If you want a guaranteed seat, you’ll definitely have to start camping out 24-hours early.
And unless you’re a minotaur (a real one) and can sleep while standing up, you’ll be lying on a concrete sidewalk. Get ready for the cold, hard, and unforgiving surface by spending a night on your driveway to simulate the makeshift sleeping arrangement.
4. Try out the Cliff Bar/water/caffeine diet
We humans need food and water to live. Unfortunately, eating and hydrating are always low on any hardcore attendee’s daily agenda. Stick with my Comic-Con Diet to ensure you stay on top of your game and don’t get rushed to the hospital with kidney failure.
The Comic-Con Diet:
- Cliff Bar: Delicious, portable, and full of calories
- Soda or Energy Drink: Helps you power through the day on only three hours of sleep
- Water: Flushes out caffeine and conveniently prevents your body from shutting down
5. Do daily neck stretches
Comic-Con is a 360-degree experience; mind-blowing things happen in all directions. If you’re not sporting a pair of those cheap spy sunglasses with rearview mirrors, you‘ll miss half of the action.
Daily neck exercises will strengthen your muscles and add flexibly, which will help you keep your head on a swivel in the mouth of chaos. A limber and strong neck will ensure you don’t miss important things like a distant t-shirt giveaway or Olivia Munn crossing the street behind you.
6. Invest in a “Stadium Pal”
Like we talked about earlier, your body needs water to survive. And in time, your body will need to expel said water. But taking a bathroom break could lead to losing your spot in line, or even worse, missing a reveal trailer during a high profile panel.
A Stadium Pal will guarantee your involvement in every second of the action. Sure, the whole peeing into a portable-urinal-that-drains-into-a-bag-strapped-to-your-leg is kind of weird, but it beats being in the bathroom during the world’s first look at the new Godzilla movie.