Getting in Gear

Well, we’ve more or less had it pretty easy the last month.  A bit of climbing, a bit of felling, and a few days with the family.  One of the keys, I suppose, of keeping fit is competition.

Wait, let’s back track.

Keeping fit.  Yeah, we have one of those semi-fortunate jobs that allow us to get sort of fit, like pretty fit, and especially when you’re young, this, along with a young man’s metabolism tends to keep you trim and slim.

A younger me out West, felling trees when hauling the saw all day hurt less. Man, I look skinny!

Then, tick-tock, you creep out of your late-twenties, and into the not-so-great beyond (>29), that we call middle age.

Shoulders begin to feel a little loose.  Hands get stiff in the morning. Back aches.  Our youthful immortality slips away-  the drinking and the bars simply DON’T happen anymore. We hurt in the morning. Recovery slows.  Have to stretch, watch our diet and waistlines. Kids call us ‘sir’ at the grocery store…

We can begin to slip.  Which would be fine, if we didn’t climb trees for a living, and  our trade didn’t demand that we be industrial athletes.  Which is what, as arborist ( tree planters, roofers, production framers, mountaineering and ski guides … etc) we are, and have to be, in order to keep working.  If we get soft, we get unemployed.  We become tired early in the tree, and we make mistakes.

Treeplanters- the ultimate industrial athletes.

Dogs have been brought to pasture for less. So, here’s a little bit of training.  A little snippet,  of what we do, in addition to the tree work, the log lifting and axe swinging…

Mondays – Bouldering.  I am fortunate enough to have a cliff that I can walk to in 5 minutes.  I slip the crash pad over my shoulders, and spend an hour or so falling on limestone while my boys throw sticks in the river.  That’s a good Monday, of course, a perfect Monday…

Tuesday – Saddle up.  HIT Training on the cyclocross bike.  If I get enough miles under my butt, that will become my Tuesday race night.  Oh, and in the morning I do a session of the Fab 4 ( Deadlift, Press, Shoulder Press, Squats…)

Wednesday – Rest.  I mean, after climbing trees…etc all day.

Thursday – Bouldering and Biking.  Boulder-Bike.  The Dynamic-Duo.  Guelph Grotto or the real cliffs… Hmmmm. Tough choice.  The real cliffs are so much nicer. And, to make myself an available parent, I’ll do an extended commute for an hour+ on my way from the Yard to the Grotto. Or the cliffs.  Whichever…

Friday – morning.  At five in the am. The Fab 4.  Maybe I should add a workout- the Fab Five @ Five.  Pushups…

Saturday – a morning long ride with Scotty or Adrian or Ryan, or anyone I might be able to convince to get up at 6:00.  Easier to do that with dads, which is why I’ve listed dads.  More fun to do with slow guys (okay, so scratch those three…).  Better to encourage, than be encouraged. This year I might cruise with the Speed River crew, though I don’t know if any of them are in my state of marital (bliss) and child rearing (W(here)TF is the manual…) and those guys, generally, are FAST.  (Strava, I mostly use to let me pick out the slow guys)

Sunday – we’ll see what the year brings.  Trips to Nemo.  Races.  Footlock laps in the river valley???

After 80km of mountain running… notice Cath is keeping me standing.

So, that’s what we strive to do.  That’s our workout/working life- and my goals for this year (namely consistency, and getting fast and strong as heck).   We’ve got a great crew of athletes, in the Ward, here, in Guelph, and a pretty nice urban trail-rock environment just outside our door.  Living and playing hard is one of the realities, demands, and privileges of being a climbing arborist.