“2021 – Getting in Shape for the Season” by Bill Adler

About 6 weeks ago, my wife suggested I join her exercise class so I would be in better shape for the upcoming trapping season. I guess maybe the fact that I could no longer mow the lawn without breaking a sweat or the fact most of my exercise was lifting a fork to my mouth, was incentive enough to push me to an organized exercise program. Like my mentors, Click and Clack—The Tappit Brothers, who used to talk about their wives being in better shape than they were, I figured I’d be able to out-perform 70-year-old women any day. Ho ho, the first session was an eye-opener! Those old women showed me their leg-lifting skills were much better than mine. Shamefully the only thing I could beat them at was weightlifting.
I call it ‘sweatin’ with the oldies’ but my wife calls it, re-learning balance. Yup, I almost fell over several times per session until my balance improved. Today we lifted straight legs. I’m still pretty bad at it. Then we tried to touch our hands by reaching over the shoulder and up the back. Never could do it. Touching toes is more about stretching than it is about the touch. Balancing has gotten easier. High stepping, as in stepping over logs, is something I can use so I work hard at that. Getting up off the floor without having to use a chair or someone’s out-stretched hand has gotten better. I no longer wheeze or breathe hard walking around the work-out room. And I’m developing newfound appreciation for 75-year-old women being more limber than I am. Now, If I can just get one older woman to help with the yard work, cleaning out the garage, washing exterior windows with the ladder or lifting anything over 30 pounds, life will be better.
So where do I think these exercise classes are going to pay off? For one, I can lift my legs fairly high, and this will help stepping over logs while wearing chest waders. Balancing on rocks should be easier, too. Carrying dead weight (traps or critters) for an extended period of time has been enhanced. As has steady breathing instead of sounding like I’m trying to catch my last breath when slogging through loon poop bogs. My wife was right about exercise, it gets easier the more you do it. I’m not convinced I want to try Pilates, Qi Gong or Tai Chi just yet. My balance isn’t that good yet and being upstaged by a 75-year-old is pretty humiliating even if I can out-lift her. Stretching left and right will help me reach that support stick without falling in the mud. Standing on my tiptoes will also keep the water from pouring into my boots. Yep, exercise is good for me even if I’m the only guy in the class.
Carrying 3-550s, cable stakes and driver, 3-pound hammer, bait jar and setting pad is a compound lifting, carrying, and balancing act I can do now. Carrying a coon or coyote instead of dragging it through the muddy field will be easier. High stepping beaver trash as opposed to falling over it is now doable too. As my wife says, ‘whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. I guess she’s right.
Bill Adler

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