I both live and work in the electronic world; I’m constantly plugged into everything, email, the internet, Facebook, YouTube, Xbox, Netflix, etc. And I admit I like my electronic world…most of the time. I like to be informed and up-to-date on what’s going on in the world and connected to my friends and family. To be honest my anxiety level used to go up a little when I was forced to “unplug” for a while. However I’ve learned just how fantastic life can be without all the noise.
My best friends have a little chunk of paradise located on the edge of the Allegheny Nation Forest in Pennsylvania. While an argument can be made that there isn’t much to do “at” the cabin, there are streams and rivers full of fish, ATV trails, hiking/biking trails and swimming holes within minutes of the camp.
Here in the great state of Ohio, our woods tend to be loaded with all kinds of fun stuff like briar bushes and grape vines and poison ivy, oak and sumac. This is not the case at the cabin, the woods are loaded with hemlocks and ferns, the woods are open and beautiful. The air and streams are clear and the water drinkable. Wildlife is everywhere, birds, rabbits, dear, fish, squirrels, chipmunks and while I have not yet seen one personally, bear. “Here bear”
The cabin is still under construction, but it has all the basics, like a roof, a fireplace, a wood burning stove, some newly added kitchen counters and sink. There is a loft with a few beds, cots, air mattresses, etc. and we recently framed in a bedroom and what will be a bathroom. Yes, I said “will be” a bathroom, for now there’s an outhouse that is older than I am and a little scary, but we’re working in that.
The bedroom is a fantastic addition for me as I am generally the only woman there and about 95% of the guys snore…I love them all, but I’d be lying if I said I never considered smothering them with their pillows! For the love of God in Heaven I don’t know how their wives ever get any sleep! This trip I got to break in the new bedroom and got what can only be described as the best sleep of my adult life! The windows are shaded by trees keeping out the bright obnoxious sun in the morning and the weather was perfect, it was nice a cool through the
night. It was quiet in my little corner and on at least two of the days I didn’t budge until “Doc” fired up the alarm clock outside, more commonly known as his chainsaw!
In the past KB has given body weight workouts to do while I’m at the cabin and while I admit I’ve skipped a couple, I would like it noted that I DO workout, I just didn’t do what she had listed. On this trip she took some degree on mercy on me and didn’t give me anything for three days! As I mentioned, I do get workouts while there. Because the cabin is under construction I’m frequently helping to build something, but my main responsibility has been the drywall. My dad was a drywaller and has taught me enough to be dangerous. Currently I’m working on the tape/mud phase of things. But on this particular trip the goal was to relax a little. Yea, about that!
Even when “relaxing” there is work to be done. Downed trees to be cut up, wood to be split and stacked, walks to be taken and fish to be caught! We split and stacked wood one afternoon and I assure you that I worked as hard at that as I ever do in the gym. I’m especially fond of logs that are difficult to split. I like a challenge and getting to swing sharp objects as hard as you can at inanimate objects is an amazing stress reliever!
Once the logs are split it’s time to get more. While I own a chainsaw, Doc generally does the cutting and I help load and unload the truck, again, this IS very much a workout! I’m thinking this falls in with deadlifts, squats, presses, cleans and k-bell swings.
The main goal of this trip was to go fishing. More specifically fly fishing. My brother-in-law, JW, is an avid fisherman and it was nice to finally get to spend some time with him as he taught me how to fly fish. He says I’m a quick learner and a good student, but I admit I spent some time feeling like a bit of an idiot. Having said that, I’m hooked on the sport (pun intended) I had an absolute blast! And yes, I caught a fish! Something called a Brook Trout. As for the workout portion, the casting in an amazing upper body and core workout and walking around knee to waist deep in a moving river will do things to your legs that you can never achieve in a gym! By the time we were done, I was exhausted!
And of course I have to mention the diet while we’re there. There are no McDonalds, no Taco Bells, no Starbucks, and no vending machines. While there is a little local grocery store, it’s not a WalMart Super Center! We eat what we pack in and what we’re willing to prepare. And sometimes that’s cheese and crackers, or coffee and doughnuts or pop tarts. But some days breakfast is bacon , eggs, toast and coffee.
While I may catch a little hell for this, I feel the need to explain how I take my coffee. I am not a coffee drinker, in fact the only place a regularly drink coffee is at the cabin, and that’s only been in the past couple of years. Because of this I have not really acquired the taste for the stuff; in fact it’s pretty nasty, it’s bitter as hell. However Doc has found a way to get me to drink the stuff, add sugar, a lot of sugar!! And cream. When I say a lot of sugar, I mean A LOT of sugar! Like to the point that I have syrup at the bottom of my cup (yup, I see sit-ups in my future!). I think he has an ulterior motive, by the time I’m done with a cup of coffee, between the sugar and the caffeine; I could run a damn marathon and thereby get a lot done!
The dinners are by far the best meal of the day; it could be burgers and dogs or steak and potatoes. It really doesn’t matter; somehow cooking over an open fire on the grill or with the dutch ovens just makes everything taste so much better!!
The trip was a win, I got in my workouts, but I also had a nice mental break and spent some good quality time with close friends and family! It’s important to find a happy mix of work and play!
And now…back to the grind!