Adventures in Urban Training: Wood Chopping

The Winter Death Race is three weeks away.

I have never swung an axe.

Now would be about the time to panic, no? There is one thing, and only one thing, that you know you will be doing going into the Death Race or Winter Death Race: chopping wood. For a race where virtually EVERYTHING is unknown, you would think it would behoove me to train for the one thing that is. Yet I have fully neglected this critical skill, mostly because I live in the middle of freakin’ downtown Chicago where carrying an axe and chopping down the park trees is, I imagine, some type of crime.

This doesn’t sit well with me. You see, I am a planner–an overpreparer by nature. I make my lists, I triple-check them, and I come as trained and ready as I can be. I’m not comfortable with winging it (unlike some freaks of nature that I know). But work lately hasn’t allowed me to start preparations. Life lately hasn’t allowed me to either. So here I am, rather unprepared and it’s killing me.

But there are logistical problems with wood chopping. First, I don’t have a yard. I have a balcony 15 stories up in the air. Even if it was big enough to swing an axe, I’m quite positive neither the neighbors nor the pedestrians on the sidewalk below me would not appreciate any attempts to split wood on the balcony.

I do not have a sledgehammer nor do I have a tire (what you may think would the closest thing to chopping wood). I still mustering up the balls to pony up for closest Crossfit box ($250 a month? yeesh. But I want to be cool and WOD with y’all so badly!), but even there, they don’t have a sledgehammer and/or tire. I suppose I could buy a tire and a sledgehammer and bang away in my apartment. Again, neighbor problems.

I’m a klutz. A certified klutz. For example, I suck at running down mountains because, most of the time, I trip and go ass over teakettle and break things. Now imagine me with a very very sharp axe in my hands.

Most importantly, the city of Chicago doesn’t really like people chopping down their trees in, say, Lincoln Park. I haven’t attempted, but I’m fairly sure that it would be frowned upon. Otherwise, where do I get wood to chop? I mean, I can go BUY firewood, but it’s already chopped, and that kinda defeats the purpose. I feel like this is basic knowledge that I should have learned somewhere along the way, but I’m starting to realize this is where being a city girl for the past several years is starting to bite me in the ass.

So I suppose the only feasible option is to pack my shit up and drive out to a state park somewhere. Maybe I’ll start with the shrubbery. Again, I’m fairly certain state parks don’t want you chopping their trees, but at least there’s a smaller chance of being caught.

3 weeks. Let’s do this. (and Winter Death Racers–give me my room when I’m chopping. For your own safety)


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