Hammocking, a Personal Reflection

DSC_1075By Stan Wright, Marketing Coordinator for OutdoorX4

I recently decided that I didn’t like ENO’s Facebook page any longer. Not because I don’t like their products – I actually love them – but because of the photos and captions. They all show beautiful locations, perfect warm weather, picturesque views, and captions that read something like, “Don’t you wish you were here?” Well, of course I do, but I have to work today. I realized that sitting around wishing I was somewhere else wasn’t doing anyone any good, so I grabbed my DoubleNest and walked out into my back yard in search of my own solace.

I don’t live in the most glamorous mountain town in America; I’m in Denver, Colorado. Well, the suburbs of Denver to be exact. Home to well manicured fenced-in yards that are better measured in square feet than in acres. We’re fortunate to live close enough to the mountains to spend a considerable amount of time there but the majority of our time is spent close to home.

I was determined to find something to wrap two Atlas Straps around and let my ENO hammock fly in the breeze. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any trees in my back yard that would work, but I did have the fence posts that separate our yard from our neighbors. I also had the pillars from our deck that were just the right distance apart for the other side. In a matter of minutes I was positioning my backside into the hammock preparing for that awkward moment when you commit all of your weight into the fabric. After a few scoots of my butt and shoulders to get positioned correctly, I could have been anywhere. Once you’re swinging like a baby, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the suburbs of Denver or the beaches of Tahiti – time is yours.

Where do we see that photo? The one with the guy hanging in his backyard over his slightly overgrown lawn that needs to be mowed. Every now and then we need to push aside the rigors of everyday life and let our feet hang off the sides of a nice hammock.

I’ve since learned to appreciate the rest and relaxation that can be obtained from 15 minutes of hammock swinging. I keep an ENO hammock and a set of straps in my truck for whenever the opportunity arises. Lately, that opportunity presented itself at my job. I’m an air traffic controller at Denver International Airport, the 5th busiest airport in the world in terms of number of take-offs and landings. It can be a very hectic, stressful and intense time while on duty. We are given short breaks throughout the day to clear our minds and prepare for the next rush of traffic to descend upon the airport. One morning I realized there were two trees spaced just far enough apart in the outside relaxation area for a hammock. On my first break that day I ran out to my truck and grabbed the hammock and straps. I quickly threw the straps around the two trees and clipped carabineers into the hammock. My co-workers looked at me as if I was crazy until they realized what I was doing. I kicked off my shoes and leaned back into my own little slice of “somewhere far away.”

Sadly, I’m not paid to swing in a hammock all day, so I quickly squeezed my feet back into my shoes and ran up the stairs for my next rotation. I left the hammock strung between the trees eager to swaddle myself inside on my next break. When that time came, I ran for the door only to find someone else swinging in my secret spot and another person patiently waiting for their turn. Just like that, I had created a new way to relax at our facility. There are no views to speak of, no waves softly crashing the shoreline, no babbling brook. The silence is constantly broken by aircraft departing one by one for all those far off destinations where the sun shines bright and the breeze blows warm. Chances are, some of those passengers have ENO hammocks in their luggage and the newest smartphone ready to upload their picturesque vacation photos right to ENO’s Facebook page. Someday I will be the one swinging over the warm blue waters of some far off lagoon and seeing my photo’s “liked” by thousands of social media followers. In the meantime, my grass needs to be mowed and there’s a cold drink in the fridge with my name on it. You’ll find me in the backyard relaxing, feet swinging, and enjoying the serenity of my hammock in the ‘burbs.