Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tuckered Out

When I was a younger lad, one of my favorite pastimes was hiking. During my college years, I hiked on and around the mountains in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It got to the point that I believed that Hot Springs, North & West Mountains were my domain. I knew almost every inch as I rarely kept to the established trails.

I also did a bit of hiking near my maternal grandparent's home west of town. This was back in the day BEFORE massive development hit this rural area. I couldn't hike in those same areas today as palatial estates and condos now dot the map.

I was musing about my past exploits today as I was cutting downed timber on the hill behind my house. Our December storm of last year brought down many trees and so I've spent the past 8 months or so scavenging for free firewood.

As a hiker, I would often hike all day, covering many miles. Afterward, I would often head off to my grandparent's house to do chores. My endurance now is a far cry from yesteryear. Of course, I'm a lot grayer in the tooth and my physical issues have taken a mighty toll. These days 90 minutes -- and many days, it's even less -- is about all my decrepit body can tolerate.

So, as a general rule, I try to limit myself to 1 hour of sustained work at a time. Even though 1 hour isn't much time, it's amazing how much it takes out of me. Because we've enjoyed sunny weather for the past 4 days (after three days of nearly 10 inches of rain), I've forced myself to head to the woods each day.

Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow afternoon or evening. While this means I won't be able to collect as much wood as I would like, I'm actually pleased the rain is returning. My aching body needs the rest!

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