Posted by: Brad Stanford | October 13, 2009

I’m Going To Be So Buff

So, rather than borrowing the chain saw (which may still happen), we purchased an axe today.


I am suddenly impressed and disappointed at the same time. I am impressed with men who used this tool on a daily basis for survival. I’m doubly impressed by men who used this tool daily for their work.

I am disappointed at the level of weakness American City Men™  like me have devolved to. If another country wants to take over this one, they should simply invent a machine that generates a stiff breeze, and blow it through the cities of America.

OK, so some of you men might take offense at that. But it’s still true that we don’t hunt for food in the city. We don’t chop wood with axes in our cities (unless its a hobby). Nine out of ten men in the city are going to have an extra twenty pounds on them, and will barely be able to do one push-up per extra pound. We can’t get around the fact that city men are ill-prepared for the coming shift in American culture caused by the oncoming depression.

Well, this is turning out to be a happy post.

Listen – to men in cities everywhere: If you want to lose that extra poundage, join me in joining our great grandfathers and discard your powered yard equipment. Use what they used – manual tools. Alright, so it’s not that easy. I was certainly thankful for chain saws after my first three axe swings. And as I said, I might still use one this season simply because I didn’t build time for manual wood chopping into my lifestyle here.

But, yo! If I do get into wood chopping it will be just like the frontier: 1) a little bit every day, not in a rush right before winter and 2) I’ll be super buff just by getting my work done. I like that.

The idea that we have to “exercise” on top of the rest of our day has always bothered me. In fact, motive technology is a mixed bag for me as well. I love the Segway™ and other get-around devices. But I don’t think their going to help us like we think they are. They’re going to keep us from walking, which is what we need to do more of. If our lifestyles are making us fat and tired, is that really living?

So, why not try it out for yourself. Make time for some sort of traditional yard work. And tell me about how hard it is. Dude. You live on .17 acres. You’ll be fine. Your “go green” neighbors will love you. And your wife will want to turn the TV off more often if you know what I mean. What’ve you got to lose?

Do something different, and make sure its difficult. Placing yourself in that situation will teach you things you can’t learn otherwise.


  1. Yes to the Ax!
    Yes to the Chainsaw!
    Yes to Cedar Choppin!
    Yes to city boys doin hard work!
    Yes to wives turnin off the TV!
    Yes to America!
    And Yes to this Blog!

  2. I love it! So so true. Doing hard things can only lead to a better life.

  3. You should live closer to me. I have plenty of “hard” things to do here. Thankfully, God has (this spring) given me a little “kitty” to help with the chores that are too big for my worn out body to tackle efficiently. Like moving that 1000# log around to the mill. If you really want a workout, I do have several (probably somewhere around 15 or 20) cords of firewood that needs cut and split though. The “kitty” won’t do that for me and I simply haven’t placed it that high on the priority list. I have never “believed” in exercise per-say. I believe that if you work hard at what you do, you should get enough exercise to fit your needs. At the same time though, I do understand that times have changed for some, especially those who make their living in the cities or behind one of these things which has created the need for exercise. I know that I could probably use some more strenuous activities at times, but on certain jobs that I have done, I have lost upwards of 20 lbs in 10 days just “working my tail off”.

    My mother used to tell me (and still reminds me now and again) that God never said anything would be easy. But he did say that if we accept him as our savior, he will never leave us or forsake us. What an awesome thought that is. God himself, the creator of all that we see, and some things that we can’t, will never leave me.

    I’m not sure, but I think I got off topic quite a bit, so I’ll quit for now and go get my “exercise”.

    Oh yeah, e-mail me for a picture of the “kitty”.

    • I can actually envision your place as a men’s retreat destination. Call it an attitude adjustment week. City boys can pay to come out for a few days and learn what it takes to do what you do. They will go home appreciating their lives a little more. Some will even decide to give up the city life and work for a living! I can see you raising up men who never had dads to raise them up. Not because you’re perfect, but because you’re not.

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