I love cutting wood, it’s one of my secret pleasures. It was the favorite physical labor of more than a few American Presidents. It’s also a fantastic source of cardio training that builds upper body strength and coordination. There’s just one problem.
There’s no wood to cut here.
Having been raised and spending most of my life in a sweeping Canadian conurbation, I’ve had few opportunities to spend extended periods of time chopping wood. This is no city-slicker romanticization of a blistering chore, I have spent hours at it, and have converted entire trees into triangular blocks fit for any fire. Some people love running, and do it casually outside of the demands of life. I am the same way with woodcutting.
I sometimes wonder how much trouble I would get in if I moseyed into my local ravine and began hacking down trees and transforming them into neat piles of lumber. My estimation is alot. I often see the sledgehammer and tractor tire at my local gym, used for upper body cardio. But it’s not the same. There’s no achievement. No allure of the slow transformation of the large into the many.
The other day I was in a hardware store and wandered into the shiny-new axe section, I felt like a eunuch browsing for condoms.
One of these days I’m going to go on a field trip. A wood-chopping field trip. All I’ll bring is an axe, a whetstone, sustenance, and some matches.