Friday, December 09, 2005

Cross-Training

Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

All the books says cross-training is good for you. My marathon training program says I should be cross-training twice a week. it suggests cycling, cross-country skiing....

Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

Ha! That's a joke. I'm not skiing until after the marathon. Not risking a twisted ankle or knee after months of training. And as for cycling? Today? No way.

Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

The roads are covered with ice and slush. Too dangerous to cycle. Or run. We had eight inches of snow last night. Which is why I'm out here shoveling the drive.

Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

It's light fluffy snow. So not too hard to shovel. But there's piles of it. And I have 6,000 square feet of drive to shovel.

Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

Yeah, yeah. I know. I should pay someone with a snow plow. Or buy a snow blower. Nobody else in this town shovels their own drive. But there's method in my madness.


Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

It's great cross-training you see. My sailing books say I should work out when I can't sail. They recommend running, cycling, weights ... But I'm doing it my way. Shoveling.

Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

Talking of sailing, this would be a fine day to be out in my Laser. It must be blowing 20 to 30 knots. The dry snow is swirling around and blowing back on to the parts of the drive that I've cleared. The sky is that perfect clear blue that you only see in the winter round here. (Too much haze and humidity, not to mention pollution in the Garden State in the summer.) Well, I would be sailing if it were 40 degrees warmer and the lake were not frozen and I didn't have to shovel this drive.

Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

This really is great exercise. Definitely aerobic. I'm breathing well and I can feel my heartbeat is faster than usual. I'm using all kinds of different muscles in my back and arms and shoulders. I'm sure they'll be used again when I'm sailing.

Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

I look up at the sky. We have five old oak trees and one elm on the property. Probably 50 to 60 feet tall. They are swaying wildly in the wind. It never ceases to amaze me how much a 4 feet wide trunk can stretch and bend.

Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

I stop and stretch every dozen or so shovels. I know from experience that this activity can easily pull a back muscle. Geeze, I actually missed a whole day's sailing one winter because of that. It's the last day of fall frostbiting on Sunday and I don't want to miss it. Take it easy. Have a stretch. Take a break.

Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

A truck with a plow arrives to clear my neighbor's drive. I try to ignore him. My other neighbor's handyman is shoveling her drive. I allow myself a feeling of smug superiority. These people think they are so smart. They pay someone hundreds of dollars a year to remove their snow. Then they pay private gym fees so they can get in their exercise. I am saving money two ways and getting my exercise for free.

Push. Lift. Throw. Grunt.

Afterwards I soak in the tub to ease all those aches and pains in my side and back and shoulders. Hope I'm OK for sailing on Sunday ..


5 comments:

Carol Anne said...

LOL, Tillerman.

Of course, you do make me envious -- all that wonderful, heavenly snow. But then, in your part of the world, you probably don't worry about having enough water to keep your lakes full. Both of the ones I sail on regularly need a good snowpack every winter to create a good runoff to put water in them.

You may have guessed by now that I'm generally a couch potato. But I have been getting this really odd idea lately that maybe I ought to get in at least a little better shape ... maybe get onto one of the two teams New Mexico's going to have in the Adams Cup regionals.

Carol Anne said...

PS. Are you rubbing off on me? And if so, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Tillerman said...

The lake I sailed on the last few years is actually a reservoir. So historically it has had a problem with water levels as the people who operate it seem to think that drawing off water for people to drink is more important than leaving it there for us to sail on.

But some clever members of our club managed to lobby our legislature and get a law passed that protects the level of the lake, at least before Labor Day.

seadated said...

HAHAHA!! I love your style! I was right there with ya... in fact... ouch! My back and shoulders are starting to hurt. :(

Carol Anne said...

One of the lakes I sail on is governed by a federal law that says if the cities that own the water leave it in the lake too long, they're never allowed to use it. So of course they want to drain it off by the end of the year.

Meanwhile ... um ... you know those Adams Cup regionals? ... Well, let's just say I'm going to need to get in shape! (More details over at Five O'Clock Somewhere.)

Post a Comment