Monday, April 9, 2012

Yard Work: Substitute for Strength Training


Sunday morning, the Engineer and I cranked out a seven-mile run on one of my favorite country road routes north-northeast of town. The weather was PERFECT...and least until we hit the turnaround point and ran smack into a brisk western headwind. Despite the windy slogging, I couldn't really complain. The sky was a brilliant blue, the sun was shining, and it was about 56 degrees, which was perfect for shorts and a T-shirt. We finished the run in the cemetery and enjoyed a pleasant cool-down walk back to my house.

I made peppered bacon and a scrambled egg-onion mix for breakfast tacos; this post-run brunch was paired with Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere from the growler we filled at the brewpub in Ann Arbor the night before. Beer for brunch? Why not!

I allowed myself a cruelly brief period of relaxation before returning outside to tackle the weekend's most onerous task, one which is unavoidable if you own a home:

YARD WORK.

The mild winter and warm spring coupled with recent precipitation had allowed my lawn to grow long, thick, and lush in enough areas that a mow job was a must. Various other plants in my yard had sprouted up earlier than usual, and last fall's dead leaves and other debris was still thick on the ground. The overall effect was "unattractive tangle." Action had to be taken, because today is curbside brush pick-up day; thus, all the trimmings and yard waste had to be stacked or bagged and placed next to the street.

The Engineer mowed while I raked, yanked, and bagged. Two hours later, the yard was much improved, and three big brown bags stuffed with debris sat next to a pile of branches at the curb. Mission accomplished.

A few hours later every muscle in my back was begging for mercy. I had pulled perhaps a bit too energetically at some of the young trees I had uprooted, including one which required my squatting down almost onto my heels and straining backwards with all my strength (I got that bastard, though. Ha!). All the pulling coupled with countless repetitions of bending over and straightening up had wreaked havoc on my lower back. The Engineer and I went out for Indian food in the evening and when we got up to leave the restaurant, I couldn't even stand up straight. I took a painkiller from my emergency stash after we got home and immediately crashed out on my bed.

My hamstrings and hips have joined the pity party today and my back is still wrecked, but damn, my yard looks good.

Obligatory Cat Picture:

Darwin out for a walk in the long pre-mowed grass

4 comments:

BrianFlash said...

God I hate yardwork. One of the major reasons we are moving into a new home is because the new one has less yard for me to work in!

TNTcoach Ken said...

Damn, I thought it was just me that ached from yard work! Thanks, Now I feel better, at least better than you..... LOL

On-On

Nitmos said...

Run, beer, yard work, pills. You did everything right but the yard work. You deserved the back pain for stepping out of line. Learn more better.

Viper said...

I have to buy a lawn mower this weekend. I haven't cut grass since I was a teenager! But yard work beckons.