Thanks to social media, it’s hard to keep things quiet for very long these days. News has a tendency to spread like wildfire, but for those of you who haven’t heard, I was recently selected by my wife to run in a 5k race. That’s right! I’ll be earning a participation award for running in the Shamrock Shuffle in Lebanon, NH on March 19th. It’s a grueling course that begins at the green in Lebanon and includes a turnaround point somewhere near Concord, NH, I believe. My goal is simply to survive and not lose to my wife.
Back before Lyme disease sucked most of the enjoyment out of everything she loved to do in life, my wife used to run all the time. When she was training for her marathon, I was her support staff. This meant driving out to meet her with water at mile 18, or some godforsaken distance like that. I’d pull up beside her in the car and hand a water bottle out the window while she kept jogging. It was a very romantic time for the both of us.
It’s not all roses, however. Her unending desire to stay in shape has led to many an argument in our house. She will say something like, “How come you don’t like to exercise?” Apparently, “Because I don’t” is not a valid answer. So I try to approach the topic from a different angle.
“If I can go on an elk hunt, I’ll get in the best shape of my life.” I offer. It’s a line I’ve used a million times.
“If you get in the best shape of your life, you can then go on an elk hunt.” She replies. It’s a response she’s used a million times. I don’t trust it.
There is no winning in a situation like this. If I were to get in the best shape of my life in the hopes that I could go on an elk hunt, she could easily backtrack on her statement by deeming that I’m not up to her standards; whereas, with my approach I know I’d be in the best shape of my life. I’d have to be in order to make the hunt worth it! Plus, the hunt would be the perfect way to measure the results of all my hard work.
I can see myself now, perched behind a 400” bull elk deep in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. I face a demanding ten mile pack out, which includes scaling a towering hillside with a seventy degree slope. I’m undaunted because I’ve trained for this - I’m in the best shape of my life. Before getting to work, I take a quick selfie with the bull and send it to my wife along with the words, “Thanks for pushing me to get in the best shape of my life. I couldn’t have done it without you.”
But I’m not hunting elk this year, so I sent her a selfie Sunday afternoon after finishing up a four hour training session on the couch. Sunday afternoons are great for that, especially when you don’t have an elk tag in your pocket.
Oh, I almost forgot. There was some other news going around this past week too. You may have heard that I have been appointed to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board to replace Steve Adams from Windsor County. To put it mildly, I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and I am very much looking forward to it. I love hunting in Vermont, though it’s hard to nail down exactly why. Perhaps it’s the tradition passed down to me by my father and one I’m now passing down to my son. Perhaps it’s the difficulty of it and the fact that I like a challenge. Maybe it is just because it’s my home state. Whatever the reason, I love to hunt here and am grateful to be able to serve in this capacity.
Can you believe that February is already in the rearview mirror? Praise the Lord. I despise that month almost as much as exercising for no reason. In case I die while running in the Shamrock Shuffle, I want you all to know I appreciate that you take the time to read my posts. Thanks.
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