Workout Plan For Camps and Cottages

After writing my previous post about Tips for old guys and gals around the cottage I thought it might be appropriate to re-post this one from 2007.

This is a physical fitness workout plan for cottagers. Yup, it’s like having a personal trainer develop a physical fitness regime for you to use at the camp. Rather than re-invent the wheel I figured that since this was posted so long ago, it might be OK to repost it for those who haven’t seen it, or as a reminder for those who did. I have updated it for today’s post.

Since Spring has finally arrived and we are all getting excited to head for the cottage for the start of the 2011 season, it’s time to get in shape for the upcoming summer.

This is the Cottagers Physical Fitness Plan to get you into tip-top shape. The best part is, I am offering this workout plan to you, completely free, which I realize is rare on the internet these days.

First of all, let me explain the levels. Yes, there are levels, depending on your current fitness, and how determined you are to get in good physical shape for summer.

Here are the levels:

The Bronze Level workout requires you to complete the program while wearing 14 inch rubber boots.
The Silver Level workout requires you to complete the program while wearing rubber hip boots.
The Gold Level workout requires you to complete the program wearing chest waders.
The Platinum Supreme Level workout requires you to complete the program wearing chest waders filled with lake water.

So let’s get started:

Friday Night
1) Run around the grocery store with your wife buying everything you need for weekend at the cottage, complaining that you should have done the shopping the night before. Unload the cart in record time at the checkout, bag it yourself, load it back into the cart after checkout, push it fast to the car like you are stealing something. Unload the groceries quickly, and run the cart to the cart corral, then run back to the car.

2) Carry all the groceries into the house so your wife can pack them in the coolers. Then carry the coolers full of groceries back out to the car.

3) Pack your clothes and stuff in a bag and throw it from the steps to the driveway, remembering as it sails through the air that you packed a pint of vodka in that bag….

4) Run down the stairs, pick up your bag and run back into the house to repack, exercising your physical dexterity by picking the shards of broken vodka bottle glass out of your underwear.

5) Carry the 70lb outboard motor from the basement upstairs and load it into the car.

6) Put everything else you can find in the car including your wife and kids and dog.

7) Drive at least an hour to get to the cottage, as fast as you can without breaking the law, in intense Friday night cottage traffic, while making frequent stops at stores to get stuff your wife forgot at the grocery store, because, in her words, “You were rushing me!”

8) Arriving at the cottage, hop out of the car, unlock the driveway gate swing it open, hop back in the car, drive through, hop out again to close the gate behind you, wondering why someone other than the driver has to be the one to open the gate.

9)Unlock the cottage and carry everything in the car inside. Then carry the outboard motor back outside wondering why you carried it inside?

10) Pull the aluminum boat 50 feet across the lawn, wondering why you pull it so far from the water. Carry the motor at the same time to save time. Attach the motor to the boat. Run back to the boathouse to get the oars, lifevests, gas tank, fishing rods, bailers, and carry everything to the boat at once…by yourself…you can do it…you are in the cottage exercise program….

11) Pull the boat into the water, jump in and start pulling on the starter cord for about 50 pulls before you remember to attach the gas line. Row the boat away from shore, attach the gas line and start to bail like crazy because you forgot to put the drain plug in and the boat is sinking.

12) After bailing the boat, pull on the starter cord another 40 or 50 times, get it going and run it back ashore. You don’t have time for boating, there is work to do.

13) Carry the 80 lb water pump out of the garage, wondering why it weighs so much and drag it under the cottage. Use your back to lift, you don’t want to hurt your knees…

14) Screw around in the dark with a flashlight in your teeth for about two hours hooking up the water, crawling around under the cottage with God only knows what wild animals that might have moved in over the winter. Occasionally shine the flashlight around looking for eyes. If you see any, stop shining the flashlight around, you have to get the water hooked up.

15) Realize you need another wrench, crawl out from under the cottage, run to the garage, sort through 20 wrenches until you find what you need, then run back and try to dive under the cottage to save time. Then, realizing you left the flashlight in the garage, scramble back out and do it all again…

16) After everything is hooked up, pound on the underside of the cottage floor with a wrench for about 10 minutes hollaring, “Turn on the water” and then give up trying to get the attention of those inside the camp, crawl out and do it yourself, don’t forget to give the family a nasty look when you go inside to try the water.

17) Run back outside to check for leaks, you have to crawl back under to do this because you left the flashlight under there. Get soaked from the open valve that is pouring water down on you. This toughens you up for swimming in the cool lake water in the summer. In early Springow the water is just above freezing, so it really toughens you up.

18) Start banging on the underside of the floor again…”Shut the water OFF!!!” then…well you know….

19) Go back inside, shut the water off, go to the lake and drag 4 buckets of water inside, then take off your dirty clothes and crawl into bed….you have to do it all again tomorrow.

20) Only sleep about two hours because everyone else is cold, and need you to get up and throw more wood on the fire. Get up every two hours. Saturday

1) Screw around under the cottage on your belly, back, hands and knees all day, climbing in and out at regular intervals to get kids bikes out, bait fishing hooks, and carry firewood inside.

2) Fix about five water pipe leaks, burning your hands a couple of times with the propane soldering torch, and hot pipe, this toughens your skin for protection from summer sunburn.

3) Go through the entire banging on the underside of the floor with a wrench routine again, followed by crawling out from under the cottage to do it yourself. You’ll have arms like superman when you’re done.

4) The water’s on! Congratulations, you have passed level 1. Now get moving because you have to get the ladder and replace about 10 shingles on the roof, careful, it’s slippery when wet…did I mention it’s raining….toughens you up for those summer days fishing in the rain….

5) Fall of the ladder at about the 8th rung, this shouldn’t kill ya, but it will toughen you up for other minor slips and falls on rocks around the shoreline.

6) Pull on the chainsaw for about 2 hours to get it started. Then carry it 40 feet with the engine running to the woodlot to cut some firewood. Pick a good sized tree. Cut it to fall in a safe direction, but if it falls in another direction, you get bonus points if you grab it and push it back the other way before it crushes the garage…or your car…

7) Saw the tree up into 8 foot lengths, carry each one about 100 feet to the woodpile and saw them into stove length. Using a heavy splitting maul, split them…and stack them neatly, close to the cottage, about 50 feet from the woodpile. Yeah, closer to where you cut the tree down in the first place….
8) Have a quick sandwich for lunch. You missed the real lunch. They couldn’t find ya, apparently you were in the woods somewhere cutting a tree.

9) Drag the pedal boat 100 yards to the water and pedal it around the cove to be sure it’s OK before the kids take it out. Find out it isn’t, wade back to shore in freezing water, pull it back up on the bank and tell them to go away….kick the pedal boat several times to warm up…

10) Take your wife and kids fishing. This will improve your reflexes as you move around quickly to avoid a treble hook Rapala minnow lure fish hook in the side of the head.

11) Split kindling for about an hour…nuff said….

12) Drag the mattresses out to the veranda to air them out, because your wife says they are ‘damp’

13) Go to bed around 7 p.m. You need your sleep.
Don’t forget to get up every two hours to put wood on the fire.

Good news, this is your day of rest. All you have to do today is put up a clothesline, cut another box of kindling, roto-till the garden and put the wharf in the lake

Oh yeah, pack the car for the trip home, put all the tools, toys and boats away, including the outboard motor. Carry everything from the boat to the boathouse in one trip for bonus points, including the outboard and gas tank.

Drive home…you done. Tomorrow you will be just a teeny-weeny-little-bit sore and tired, but you will get over it, and be in great physical condition, only five more days of work and you can get back to the cottage to relax……

You can get bonus points for additional stuff, such as having to clean the skunk off the family dog, or pull porcupine quills from his muzzle. If you’re a real health nut, wear ankle and wrist weights. If you don’t have any ankle and wrist weights, just duct tape a piece of firewood to each arm and leg.

Do this, or your own particular version of the above every weekend from April to June 30th and you will be in great shape for the summer.

So what level are you? Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Supreme?

© 2011 – 2012, Rob Dares. All rights reserved. Cottager Online/The Cottage Chronicles / Rob Dares material is copyrighted, please contact me if you wish to inquire about reposting etc All prices quoted for products are subject to change, customer is responsible to confirm price with seller.

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