When going through marathon training (I ran three in 2001 and hope to run another in December of this year), one thing that you should always incorporate is cross-training. Typically one day a week, do something other than running to perhaps develop supporting muscle groups, or at least to give your body a little variety.

While I’m not too sure how much it will “develop supporting muscle groups” for my woodworking, I have picked up a new hobby. Thanks to a birthday present from my parents in celebration of turning 40, I took an Open Water scuba diving course and am now a certified diver!

But while scuba diving is as much a hobby as woodworking, the two couldn’t be more different. And I don’t just mean that you can’t build furniture underwater (your coral workbench would just snap right in two). What I mean is that woodworking is a productive hobby. You can’t take up the hobby of woodworking for very long before you produce SOMETHING tangible. Of course, it may take a little longer before you produce something that will actually last, but that’s another issue. If you’re a woodworker who doesn’t have anything to show for it, then you’re really just a tool collector (another hobby).

Scuba diving is entirely unproductive. But being unproductive doesn’t mean it’s useless. It’s just that the things you get out of scuba diving are internal, entirely for you. It enriches your own personal soul, enhances your appreciation of God and his creation, and gives you some memories and perhaps stories. But other than that (unless you have an underwater camera), you have nothing really to show for it.

I think I like that this hobby is so very different from woodworking. Honestly, my time on the islands entirely wiped the Roubo from my brain. That’s good. My slate is clean, and as I start planning again, I’ll be more fresh and will be able to think more clearly.