Recent­ly, I have been doing a lot of work in my gar­den to get it ready for next sea­son. Since my urban lot is very small, it could not be that much work. So this is what I have set out to do this fall/winter (the best time in Hous­ton, Texas!):

1) Cut down an over­grown bush that has a trunk about 6″ thick.
2) Remove the stump and replant with an orange or peach tree next spring.
3) Save some of the larg­er trunk pieces and stump for a Hugel­Cul­ture bed.
4) Dig a trench 4’X9’X3’(deep) and bury the wood.
5) Con­struct the raised gar­den bed and plant with win­ter beans in prepa­ra­tion for next spring.

With the plan in place it was time for the exe­cu­tion phase. I rent­ed a chain saw and chopped down the tree and cut into small­er pieces. Next, it was time to remove the stump. Start dig­ging! I locat­ed three large roots which were a bear. I then pur­chased a tool to attempt and chop them, but that took for­ev­er so I dug them out enough to expose them and paid for anoth­er chain saw rental. Even then, the stump is just not budg­ing. OK fine. It will take me more than a cou­ple of days to get it removed and, yes, I want to do it myself instead of pay­ing work­ers. It is me ver­sus that damn stump.

But here is the thing. I am in my ear­ly 40’s and just can­not work as hard as I think I should. I last about four hours of hard labor (dig­ging, chop­ping, mov­ing) with many breaks and am just exhaust­ed. It is not even that hot because fall has final­ly come to Hous­ton. The next few days after work­ing hard in the yard, I am sore as hell and don’t want to go back in the yard, even after work. Damn me for spend­ing the last 20 years in a soft chair in a soft job, only work­ing in the yard on week­end. What will hap­pen if I have to work hard for my sur­vival, under hard con­di­tions, when rest means death.

The bot­tom line is that sur­vival may come down to being in good phys­i­cal con­di­tion, with func­tion­al strength and con­di­tion­ing, not gym shape and con­di­tion­ing (not that I have the lat­ter either). If we don’t have it, sur­vival chances go down in addi­tion to decreased qual­i­ty of life in the here and now.

I guess this mis­sive is a call to those of us who are couch pota­toes to get mov­ing and get in shape. Some­day, we may need the phys­i­cal capac­i­ty as a mat­ter of life or death. If that capac­i­ty is not built right along­side our oth­er capac­i­ties, then all the preps in the world won’t save our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email