The true essence of being an outdoorsman is learning how to find value in the seemingly undesirable.
Gary Edinger, 69, spends the majority of his days out in the woods or inside with his wife, who he's stood by for 42 years. And, despite some incredibly bad luck, he somehow hasn't missed a beat.
An independent solo logger who works the remote, northern Wisconsin woods, Edinger is as rugged as they come. Not only does he chop trees down for a living, but he's also an avid hunter who effectively lives off the land.
However, he arrived at arguably the largest roadblock of his life when he had a slight lapse in judgement during a job, accidentally cutting his leg off with a falling tree.
Alone, and far away from any civilization, he's in a race against time to get some medical attention.
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After losing his leg and eliminating his ability to turn his belt into a makeshift tourniquet, Edinger had no choice but to crawl to his truck, which he would then drive another 20 miles to an EMS station.
Officials then airlifted him to a hospital where he received 10 pints of blood and heartbreaking news that he'd never be able log or hunt again. But he forged his own fate and was back in the woods in only seven months.
The most beautiful part of this film in my opinion is its ability to embody what it means to be an outdoorsman. We typically find ourselves finding beauty in the smallest details, the most silent victories and the most daunting circumstances.
"When I do make a mistake, it doesn't become a mistake; it becomes an adventure," he says. "That's how my mind works. Sh** happens; that's how I lost my leg. The more life you live, the more likely sh** is gonna happen. If you sit on that couch over there, nothing is going to happen."
After surviving such an awful series of events, Edinger still only sees one way to live, and leads a redemption story that inspires us all the make the most of the time we have.
"I don't know any place else where you can discover yourself--I mean who you really are," he says. "I've spent my entire life seeing how far I could get. I already know that I have lived. For me, the final question will be 'Will I have lived enough?'"
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