Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Working Out the Old Fashioned Way

Isn't it funny how you can swim, bike, and run 'til the cows come home, but spend an hour raking leaves and it's like you've never worked out in your life! I'm so sore today after moving massive (and I do mean massive) leaf piles around our property. We're on a long-term plan to become more self-sufficient as a family, raising our own chickens and gardening. I mulched all the garden beds with the leaves from our killer pile (courtesy of our city's leaf pickup department) and started covering the ivy in the back forty (well, back one-third is more like it). My daughter and I cleaned out the chicken coop, and I hauled forty-pound bags of poultry feed and bricks of cedar shavings down the hill (the wiry 70-year-old gent at the Feed-n-Seed shop tossed them around like they were made of air.)

For sure, our ancestors were no ninnies. Which is probably why in all the old family photos standing next to their whitewashed farmhouse they look as wiry and tough as Feed-n-Seed Store Man (even my great-great-grandma looks like she could whup ya with one hand tied behind her back.) And they didn't need an Ironman to get that way. In some ways, it seems like modern sports are a searching for the activity that used to fill everyday life. When you had to milk your own cow, grow the hay to feed it, and churn the butter, you didn't really need to go run seven miles to feel healthy and strong. More likely, you look forward to the end of the day when you get a few minutes to put your butt down in the rocking chair.

Still, at the end of my hard day's work, it felt good to get in the pool and swim some yards, stretching all those tired muscles in my back and shoulders. But I didn't push it, that's for sure.

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