No Magic Pill

Knowledge + effort + time = success

I’m a lumberjack, and I’m okay…

Posted by Ben on Tuesday, June 9, 2009

From my training log today:

I woke up a couple hours early to get in an interval workout of rope skipping followed by a core circuit. I walked outside with the dogs to find a bunch of branches had fallen on and around the storage shed. No big deal, but I wanted to clear them off before the rain came back. As I rounded the back of the shed, images of a small iceberg hit: the branches were actually the top of a six-inch diameter tree that had fallen through the only possible clearing in the tree line, across the fence, to rest on the shed. Most of the tree was still on county property, but it’d be days before anyone would be out to clear it, so I put on full-cover clothes (lots of vines and undergrowth), grabbed the only lumberjacking tool I own (a small sport hatchet), and went to town. Three-quarters through the main trunk (about four inches in diameter where I chose to cut it so as not to damage the fence), I realized that it wasn’t giving at all–there was a three-inch branch supporting the whole thing on the ground just below my cut point (damned thing even had a natural crook in it so that it looked like it was reclining on an elbow, the bastard). The pressure of the tree’s weight made the branch harder to cut than the trunk, but it finally split along its length and gave out. The trunk still wouldn’t fold, but it would twist (this was some fresh, green wood–why it fell, I don’t know), so after all the cutting, I finished with several big pushes to swing it off the shed and back to the ground behind the fence. Nature being what it is, and considering I had to be at work earlier than usual today, I couldn’t get in a balanced workload, so my uncoordinated left shoulder and rotation went less-used, but I really don’t care.

Nothing like finding a fun workout when you least expect it. I will, however, be buying a full-sized ax and a chainsaw in the near-future.

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