No matter how hard I try to avoid getting stuck in a rut this time of year, it seems like the spring fever always finds me during the first couple weeks of March. I am sure that I’m not alone in this seasonal dilemma but as I continually age it becomes more and more of an annoyance. Not because I don’t know how to handle it when it hits but rather the annoyance of knowing that a man with a lifestyle similar to mine, should be able to condition himself to avoid it all together. Here are are FIVE simple techniques I try to use each spring to Charge my Wild and embrace the fever of Spring…
EMBRACE THE FEVER
Spring Fever is likely going to hit you in March or April no matter what you do. So,… embrace it. I have learned that no matter how busy I am with work or family, the more that I can yield to the overwhelming drive to get outside and be in the wild, the easier the spring fog will fade away. If your mind is telling you that you need to get outside and get some fresh air, then do it. This is sometimes as simple as shooting my bow in the back yard, going for a countryside drive or simply sitting on the back porch with the sun in my face while I’m eating my bag lunch. Anything and everything I can do to get the natural Vitamin D and breath of unfiltered air, I’m going to do.
It is hard sometimes to get out in the spring due to the mud, snow and overall wet and crappy weather. The excuses I always hear myself mutter are that “it’s too muddy to hike” or “this wind is too miserable” or “I’ll just wait until next week”. But if you actually put on the boots early in the morning and get out on the mountain before the morning thaw, you might be surprised how many miles you can actually get in before the mud starts to build on your shoes.
Depending on how rough the winter months are, I try to get on the mountain at least 2 or 3 times a week and go for a quick morning hike. Sometimes I’m only on the hill for 30 or 40 minutes and other times I might grab my ruck and be gone for 2 or 3 hours. If I’ve got to be working by 8 or 9am then that means I need to be out of bed by 5. My wife says I have a mental disorder to want to be out there in the dark and cold. Me, I think it’s more of a “condition” than anything. I will never be a pillar of fitness but I can be stronger today than I was yesterday.
MAKE IT YOUR LIFESTYLE
Where I live in Western Nevada it is not uncommon for the mid day temps in February or March to hit the mid 50’s or even into the 60’s. When the kids don’t have basketball, wrestling, scouts or some other kind of activity, I like to get them involved in what my hobbies are. Luckily for me I have been able to build my business around my hobbies so technically my hobbies are my work. And when I take my kids out with me to “play” I am actually killing two birds with one stone. Someone once said something similar to, make your passion your career and you’ll never feel like your working ever again. Well, for me that is a razors edge to walk down because honestly sometimes the “work” part of the “passion” can really take some of the fun out of it. Note to self, never get to the point of resentment with anything in life, least of all your work.
PLAN FOR THE FALL
Winter and Spring are a perfect time to sit down and plan out all your hunts for the Spring and later that Fall. If you’re a Western hunter of want to put in for some of the limited draws to hunt the West, then you’ve got to stay on top of the hunt application dates. This is one thing that I am terrible at. My brother Boyd generally stays on top of it for me on some of the states that we like to put in for but for others that we have no knowledge of, I use an application service. Also known as my good friend Riley Worwood at the Bow Shop.
This always keeps me looking forward to the upcoming hunts because it’s kind of like a surprise birthday party every time. You get to put in your “wish list” of hunts that you dream about and then once the draw results start trickling out one by one, your adrenaline levels spike. 90% of the time I don’t draw what I really want but for that one time you do get an awesome tag, it is something special.
Most of the time I am an OTC (over the counter) bandit and just end up buying general season tags with the rest of you and hunting in general hunting areas throughout the West. In either case, planning out your Spring and Fall hunts during crappy weather weeks is a great way to keep your mind in motion and focused on your passion.
Spring is also a great time to make a detailed plan for the harvest. No, I am not talking about the harvesting of animals. We kill animals. We harvest garden foods.
Growing up in a large family and living on the farm, we always had an endless supply of “farm meat” and my favorite, a huge garden out back. Looking back on it now, it was about as organic as you could ever get. Never very well laid out or organized and rarely ever weeded clean but it always had the necessities. Onions, potatoes, carrots, beets, tomatoes and on and on and on. For fertilizer we just went out and scraped up the manure from the nearest coral. There was never a shortage of critter crap to spread over your eventual food.
Now, living in the suburbs having a garden is a lot more work. It shouldn’t be but it is. The biggest reason is the mental barrier to convince yourself that you need it. The grocery store is only a few miles away. Convenience can be a crutch. I often use the lack of space as an excuse. But there are a lot of layered methods to turn a relatively small amount of surface area into a bunch of eventual food.
ITS ALL ON YOU
Basically the only thing that can get you out of or keep you out of the Winter Blues and Spring Fever is your own mind. This is nothing that you haven’t heard before but there are lots of things we’ve heard over and over again but still have a need for reminding. Don’t look at others and think that you could never be as good as them or as fit as that guy. I try to look at it like this. Am I better today than I was last Spring? Am I stronger today than I was yesterday. I like to think that more often than not, my answer to both questions, is yes. Be you, and be strong.
-STRONG AS ONE