Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lumberjacks vs. Ultrarunners

Today's assignment class is to compare and contrast lumberjacks and ultrarunners.

As I was chainsawing my way through the woods in my back yard, I began to think about how similar, and dissimilar, these two groups of people are. You see, my nickname is The Lumberjack. That's not actually what I do for a living. If I did, I think I'd last about a month or two before I cut a limb off my own body instead of the tree. I know enough to get myself in trouble. While I'm much better with an axe, I still have a lack of appreciation for just how sharp that axe can be. At least I will until I take a toe off.

I wish I smelled like a man when I ran. Instead I smell like a bear that forgot to wipe.

So as I thought about these two groups of people, I began to realize how much alike they are. They both go out into the woods for hours on end. They both sweat as they toil. They may even drink and eat whatever they feel like to fuel their massive energy needs. Both groups are lean and stringy with muscles and can work for hours upon hours before taking a break. They like to work hard but also like to party hard. They live life to the fullest and don't have time for crap. Both use trees as their bathroom when nature calls.

I really dig these hats. Might need one for my birthday.

Yet these two groups are also entirely different. While ultrarunners tend to be vegetarian or even vegan, lumberjacks tend to eat meat like it's going out of style. While lumberjacks cut down trees and are poorly stereotyped for not caring about the environment, ultrarunners lean the other way and try to preserve the environment they run through and have a bad stereotype of being hippies. Ultrarunners dress in technical fabrics that fit to their form while lumberjacks wear denim and canvas and flannel. Lumberjacks wear big boots with steel toes and ultrarunners were trail shoes with ultra-thin soles. Ultrarunners worry about bears, running out of water, and getting lost. Lumberjacks worry about tree hugging hippies, running out of gas, and spiked trees.

So as you can see, both lumberjacks and ultrarunners share a lot of similarities. And while they may work hard at what they love and bring home small paychecks for their efforts, they are two distinct groups that may not get along well in the local bar.

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