Thursday, March 10, 2016

Busting Logs

I've been spending a few hours each day splitting rounds of maple. They're from a tree we brought down in my front yard, and it's been a mission of mine to get it from fallen trunk to cords of wood for the last few months. All the rounds are finally sequestered in my driveway, so they're not an eye sore for the neighbors. I'm sure they're liking that. This activity has been my chief source of strength training for the last week, making it a point to spend a few hours on it each day. It was a thirty foot maple, so it's taking some time.

I'm using a sledgehammer, wedges and an axe to split the wood, though I have a chainsaw in my basement. I could get it done much more quickly with the gas-powered tool, but that's not the point. It's a challenge and a monster. Blisters, splinters, some blood and muscles so sore that sometimes it's hard to practice have been my rewards so far, plus dropping ten pounds. What I'll get in the end is more knowledge, more resilience, more strength and a ton of free fire wood. It's worth it to me for just the challenge and the accomplishment.

It seems simple enough on the face of it. Hammer wedge into stump, hit wedge with hammer and split wood. The logs don't know this though. Usually it's hammer, hammer, hammer, ping, and the wedge pops out like it was pushing against a spring. Probably user error along with lack of knowledge, but this is the kind of thing you have to figure out on your own. These are skill based tools. You don't just follow the instructions. These things build mental fortitude as well as physical. You need to work past the frustration, the pain and work toward progress. Swinging the hammer is the easy part. I know that sooner or later it will be routine. Once I've learned the weaknesses of the wood. It will take mindfulness and concentration.

I'm looking forward to what I'll learn.