Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How Strength Training Improved My Property Value

Last night was a recovery night, so I did not go to the gym. Instead I went out to the yard to tackle a project I've been putting off -- clearing some out of control shrubs that I can't see but my neighbor can. So the whole adventure started with this altruistic tone that just made me feel so contented and full of myself.

I donned my big blue anti-poison-ivy zip-up mechanic's overalls, pulled out my leather work gloves, and started digging in. From a three foot wide strip along the side of my house I removed several trees that had sprouted accidentally. These included an oak, two maples, and numerous red-buds. I chopped out about a quarter of a mile of grape vine that some genius must have thought would look great tearing the downspouts off the corner of the house. I also pulled out some old leaves, dead ivy, and several light beer cans upon whose origins I chose not to speculate.

The project involved bending, lifting, squeezing stretching, sawing, chopping, sweating, kneeling, and lots of other real world movements that I have been avoiding because they always made my back ache, my arms weak, and my head spin after an hour or so.

But I didn't hurt at all. I wasn't out of breath. I broke a good sweat, but after all I was wearing overalls on July 1 in Kentucky.

I even helped my neighbor push his dead Isuzu out of the driveway.

Squats, curls, deadlifts, rows, oblique twists... I've been lifting weights because I want to be stronger and healthier. Somehow I never made the connection that those things would follow me when I left the gym.

This shouldn't have been such a surprise, but it was. It isn't pretty - not yet - but my body is becoming more useful to me and to the people I care about. AND one side of my house now looks like the building is actually occupied. I have a feeling that the folks next door just got a lot more enthusiastic about my gym membership.

Tonight I'll take on the front hedges, a mere warm up bout for this weekend's epic Independence Day Battle of the Backyard.

Anybody want to buy an old easy chair?

Peace, y'all.

Edward Scissorhands photo from

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post. There is nothing better than when hard work pays off - for real. It's great to see progress at the gym, but when you can do all that you described and not be sore and dead... life is good. Better than good!

    Proud of you, as always! Yay Yay, Ra Ra! GooooooOOOOOOO PENNSY!!!


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