By Janet Wood | Photo courtesy of Janet Wood
My entire life has been wrapped up in sports and nature. As a child, I spent an enormous amount of time playing basketball (our dirt court was as hard as concrete from bouncing the ball so much), and hunting, fishing, and trapping in the Knob Creek area just outside Melbourne. I played basketball in college, and continued to hunt and fish during school breaks.
For 37 years I have been involved in public education—most recently as athletic director for the Mountain Home School District, but also teaching, coaching, and in administration. At school, I was automatically involved in sports, and I was busy, so time with my family was precious. Finding time for nature was a challenge, but I realized that maintaining a balance between all three—sport, family, and nature—was what made me truly happy. It helps that we live on a farm, but there are many opportunities to enjoy nature all around us. If you think you don’t have time to exercise or play a sport, or include nature in your routine, I hope these ideas will help.
4-Wheeling—One of my favorite pastimes is 4-wheeling with our border collie, Rex. We generally check the game cameras or use my clippers to clear paths for more trails. People gather frequently at various locations and go 4-wheeling together.
Hunting—I enjoy deer and turkey hunting. I see deer every day, but they still fascinate me. Sitting on a deer stand or calling in gobblers can be both relaxing and exhilarating!
Walking—Another way I enjoy nature is simply walking. We have a pair of eagles that for 20 years have built a nest near the White River, straight down from our house, and I walk down just to look up at the large nest. There are many free nature and hiking trails in our area. David’s Trail is one of the most popular and runs along Lake Norfork. If you have never been to Hathaway Gap, past Rea Valley, you might check it out. There are several trails that go to the Buffalo River, and one that comes out at the large cross located on the bluff across from White Buffalo Resort.
Fishing—Precious moments for me in nature include taking the grandkids fishing in our nearby pond. Watching the expression on their faces when they hook a largemouth bass and reel it in is priceless. Think about joining the local fly fishing groups. There are many people like me who live on a farm and are more than willing to share their trails and ponds.
Push-ups and Sit-ups—Copy golfer Gary Player’s workout. He is over 80 and is arguably the fittest golfer on the senior tour.
His entire workout consists of push-ups and sit-ups.
You can find rag ball teams in the summer and bowling leagues in the winter.
I hope each of you can find your own balance between life, sport, and nature, and be able to say you are truly happy. Spring is a good time to turn over a new leaf. In the words of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, “Happy trails to you!” M! February/March 2017