Landscapers just might be the best conditioned professionals.

It all started a couple months back when a friend decided to give me a present for my birthday.  To my surprise, I opened the present to find a ticket to the My first thought was, what the heck are you thinking? After my attempt to immediately back out proved unsuccessful, my second thought was I really should get on a treadmill.  You see, my claim to fame, almost 30 years ago, was the fact that I was the fifth fastest kid in the state of Connecticut.  I think that is pretty impressive!  Back then, I was a sprinter.  Distance running was not my thing.  Anything taking longer than 20 seconds seemed way too boring for my taste.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever run 3 miles in my life, never mind that the 3 mile course I just ran, was covered in mud with military style obstacles throughout.

That's me up front.

As a landscaper, who has time to practice for a race, in the busiest part of the growing season?  Not me! Day after day went by and in the back of my head was always the thought of the Warrior Dash and how I should be training for it.  As the day got closer, my thoughts went from, I should be training to I should see if I can actually run 3 miles without throwing up.  I was too busy creating landscapes right up until race day.  Preparing for the race was wishful thinking.  I knew I would be ridiculed for life if I didn’t at least finish the race so I’ll admit, I was a little nervous.  As all my friends dressed in their color coordinated outfits, I took a different approach and let them know how I really felt about my birthday present.

I have always known that landscaping is a physically demanding occupation.  What I didn’t know was just how conditioned I actually was.  Out of 4,953 people, I finished the race 154th and 11th overall in my age bracket.  Holy crap!  Today, I proved to myself that I’m in way better shape than I thought I was in.  As long as I’m a landscaper, I don’t need a gym membership. For some people, working out in a gym is their thing.  For me, I choose landscaping.  Just like bungy jumping in Australia, I can say I’ve now completed the Warrior Dash.  All good things must come to a close though.  To all my fans, I officially retired today from all mud crawling, fire leaping, extreme running from hell events!!!  Tomorrow, back to landscaping in beautiful Litchfield County, CT.

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Richard Schipul
Richard Schipul

For the last 30 years, I have owned the landscape company Designing Eden LLC based in New Milford, CT. We offer landscape designs, landscape installations and garden maintenance services in Fairfield and Litchfield County Connecticut. I am currently the only Nationally Certified Landscape Designer in Litchfield County and sit on the board of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and Mad Gardeners.


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