Happy New Year! Which means only 4 months till planting…

January 3, 2008

That’s right, it is time to start thinking about planting (as if it hasn’t crossed your mind at least once daily…). Assuming that you all included the resolution of cashing in on what is looking like a very lucrative 2008 season, there will be a few things that you’ll want to get in order before May 1st.

First: Fitness should be high on the list of things your prepare before you enter the bush. 4 months may seem like a long time, but work that you put in now will pay off later in the season as your body will be more used to daily abuse. Plus all this holiday eating and partying I’m sure has made all of us a little less “streamlined”, if you catch my drift…. I know I’ve said before that physicality will become less important to mentality in this game, but being fit will only help you.

And on that mentaliy note, we will segue.

Second: It’s time to start thinking about what your game face is going to look like. You need to start thinking hard about where your motivation to keep planting is going to come from. You are about to venture on probably the biggest emotional roller-coaster you’ve ever experienced. Your mind will be given vast amounts of open space to wander as it sees fit, and it will take full advantage, unless you tighten the reigns every once in a while and get it on the “plant harder” path. That being said, everyone has their own method of motivation. Some people thrive on the competition, and I know a few people who have already started trash talking. Whatever method you choose, give it some though now and get yourself focused.

Last but not least: Gear. This is going to need a full post…


Crossfit: Asset development for tree planters.

November 15, 2007

The first step in preparing is yourself for planting is getting your body in top shape. As a tree planter, you are essentially a company of one, and your body is your company’s most valuable asset. Since an automatic planting machine hasn’t been invented yet you are the reforestation industry’s most advanced piece of planting equipment. The question you have to ask yourself is “do I want to be a shiny, well-oiled, well-built machine, or a rusted piece of crap that only works sometime?”

It is in your best interest to get your body in top shape because the formula for successful planting is simple.

Hard Work – Down time= $$$.

If down time equals ‘0’, your hard work will pay off, but if you’re stuck peeling carrots in the kitchen for days because your back is shot, or your knees are giving out, or you have tendinitis, your hard work isn’t going to pay as well.

I have done some research on the suggestions on the internet for planting fitness, and to be honest, it is lacking. The best planting specific program available is the Fit to Plant system put out by Shelkirk College. My main concern with Fit to plant is however, it’s specificity. By only working muscles that you use for planting, you are neglecting a huge part of what makes planting so difficult. A typical day (see post below) involves much more than just taking 3 steps, bending over, putting a tree in the ground, repeat… there are plenty of obstacles on your piece, tree boxes to be moved, mountains to climb, and cliffs to hang off. The ideal physical preparation for planting should involve a full body regime.

In following with this notion, I suggest checking out Crossfit to get yourself in shape. Crossfit is a full body work out system that in my humble opinion is unrivaled as a training system for anyone who considers themselves an athlete. Their “work out of the day’s” (WOD’s) provide an ultra intense, full body workout on a randomized schedule. The idea is to allow your body to become comfortable performing in high intensity situation, and never allow it to adapt to a routine by varying the WOD’s on a random schedule.

I can only skim the surface of how beneficial Crossfit will be to your planting season. Please check out the website for yourself, and read as much of the information they provide (for free) for yourself.