High school physics teacher Adrian Flygt just had six cord of eight-foot logs dropped off at his house in Fort Collins, Colorado. Soon it'll just be a big pile of kindling.
After school's out, Flygt goes home, walks his hound, and then gets to work. Instead of heading up a classroom now, he's outside his house going to town on huge logs with axes and saws. In addition to being a teacher, Flygt is also a professional lumberjack.
For eight years, Flygt has been competing in timbersports, an outlet he found during grad school in Wisconsin as a way to balance out all those hours in the library. His love of timbersports followed him to Colorado after graduation, and he now travels around the country, clocking up to 18,000 miles in a season traveling to competitions.
While it's sometimes tough to juggle his two passions, Flygt wouldn't have it any other way.
"I think the two work synergistically together," Flygt says. "The physics really helps me stimulate my mind and work on mathematical concepts in teaching, and the timbersports is an outside and active endeavor. I think that's kind of like peas and carrots: You need both of them."
On more than one occasion Flygt has been compared to Paul Bunyan, and that's even before people find out about his love of wood chopping. See, Flygt towers at six-foot-four and has an espresso-colored beard that's so bristly and wild, he jokes about its sentience.
"My beard is two, almost two and a half... so I think that walking and talking should've happened, and it should be on its way to early reading," Flygt laughs.
And yes, he wears flannel.
However, when participating in timbersports, Flygt wears a white STIHL shirt, Duluth Trading Company pants, and some soft-soled shoes; not the stereotypical lumberjack look, which he does sport during his time away from competition.
"If you talk about how to be warm and comfortable -- a flannel shirt, jeans, and boots -- they're unbeatable," Flygt admits before broaching the topic of lumbersexuals.
"It's amusing that this is a trend, because this is kind of how I dressed and how most of the men and women I know have dressed for as long as I can remember," he notes. Flygt grew up in the Midwest where lumberjack duds aren't just some fad.
Though Flygt is surprised about the fashion world's newfound interest in this utilitarian gear, he's not opposed to people adopting the look.
"I think if you look at the dirt under people's fingernails or you look at the calluses on their palms, it should be obvious whether somebody's picking to have a style or if they're actually just wearing what's comfortable to work in," Flygt explains. "The calluses on my hands and the scars from accidents in the woods are very real. I'm not a guy who's trying to pull off a look."
Flygt stresses the importance of getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city and just hitting the trail even if you're not into flannel. "We spend most of our time in urban centers," he says. "Population density is increasing and the places that were purely unfettered nature are sort of dwindling. I think there is profound value in getting away from your cell phone and just experiencing you and the outside and time."
Ultimately, Flygt can't help but be tickled by the recent upswing in outdoorsy fashion. "Wear what you wear because it's what you like to wear," Flygt urges. "But don't wear it to impress somebody else."