After much thought on the topic of where on earth I would obtain a large enough chunk of wood to use as a splitting stump, I was pleased to recall that there was an 8-inch by 12-inch by four-foot support beam chunk under the deck, apparently left over from the 1968 remodel of the house. So I lugged it out to the back yard in the gathering gloam to see how my 98-pound weakling stems would manage the task of directing seven pounds of sharpened steel though the evening breeze.

My back hurt, and the moment I attempted to actually apply muscle to the momentum of the axe head, it would deflect from the intended target, but as long as I only attempted to harness momentum and gravity to the whistling downfall of the woodsman’s blade, wood splinters flew satisfyingly in many directions. My wrists hurt quite viciously, but I did get a full aerobic workout and drench my longjohns with precious bodily fluids of the perspiration variety.

The curious confluence of minimal exertion and correct control is also my experience with bowling. If I ever attempt to muscle a thrown ball, I am guaranteed to go wide; as long as I release with no directed force, the ball glides as smooth and true as a straight razor.