We use a woodstove to heat our home during the winter. It’s the most pleasant form of heat [somebody once described it to me as like, walking into your house and receiving a big, warm hug] and also, the most cost-effective.
Heating with a woodstove, is a three-part process. Our main source of heat comes from burning split-maple. In order to get the maple going, we create a base fire consisting of bush-kindling gathered from the forest around our house and scrap cedar kindling that we pick up from a local sawmill.
The maple is delivered to us by the fellow who owns the sawmill. I help him unload the truck, then I stack the firewood underneath the deck at the front of the house [this also is great exercise]. Some of the maple is too big for our woodstove, so I have to split it. In preparation for the past two winters, I borrowed a gas powered wood splitter from one of my neighbours. It was a thing-of-beauty, but because this past winter was so long and cold, we ran out of wood, so I had to order more, and split the bigger chunks myself, using a recently purchased 6-pound splitting axe.
I’m not going to lie to you, I love splitting wood! Actually, I didn’t know if I could do it, given the weight and strength I have lost in the past few years, but using that splitting axe, I feel like a kid with a new toy … and it gets the job done!
It is well documented that joyful exercise is an important component of effectively managing the symptoms of this neurological condition [PD] I am experiencing. It is also an important part of my recovery protocol, and for me, wood-splitting is an excellent exercise from both a cardiovascular and strength perspective. Also, it involves big movements and the long muscles, which again, is important in overcoming the motor symptoms I experience.
Chopping wood also helps eliminate stress and keep my mind in the present moment because there is nothing like swinging an axe to get your attention and let ‘er rip!
Oh yes, I have discovered one other benefit from splitting wood. It seems to be helping my golf game! I have played golf twice so far this spring and my game is much improved over last year, which I attribute to splitting wood! It’s that, or the spirit of Ben Hogan has entered my body! I figure this latter scenario is unlikely!