“The tameness of wilderness is exasperated by our current model of appropriate human use of the wild - intensive and commercial recreation that requires trail systems, bridges, signs for direction and distance, back-country rangers, and rescue operations. These in turn create additional commercial activities that further diminish wildness - maps, guide books, guiding services, advertising, photography books, instructional films - all of which diminish discovery and surprise and independence and the unknown, the very qualities that make a place wild. Each of these reductions functions like the loss of a predator. It tames and domesticates the wilderness and eliminates wild experience.” Jack Turner
I slam the locker door shut - not the fancy pine wood one with hangers for my three piece suit but the back of my VW Jetta, filled with musty clothes, shoes and a realm of other outdoor “necessities”. I flash my index finger at my reflexion in the car door, wink and take off with an “in to win it” attitude. Dog proceeds over to sniff the poop station and make sure I grab a bag to pack out her waste. She proudly sports her membership tag on her collar, granting her relative freedom to roam, while I’m leashed to the winding dirt track ahead. The heater appears to be bust as the temperature hovers around 5F, forcing me to wear a bunch of layers which, despite concealing the fine toning of my biceps still makes me look pretty buff. The leg routine today consists of a 20 minute warm up on a mellow grade followed by the StairMaster, better known in this gym as Fern Canyon. Not content to just grunt it out on the slope, I’ve chosen the “tough guy” option, adding a layer of bullet proof ice to the incline while trading in the lifting gloves for a pair of Microspikes as the accessory of choice. Dog’s back on the rein with her VIP status on standby since, when the dirt gets wild so do the rules. Confined to my world, she keeps glancing back at me with a look of disgust either from how pathetically slow I’m moving or from me opting for my shirt sleeve over the towel for sweat and snot. I push triumphantly to the end of the climb pumped by the head boppin’ tune of air sucking lungs, rustling leaves and howling wind. Check the watch, check the sign to be clear where the summit is and begin the cool down. A quick stop to rehydrate with giardia on tap over cough and spittle. Just over two hours and I’m back at the changing room, off to hustle, I just fit my workout into my day.
"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." from The Little Prince.