Thursday, June 9, 2011

Exercise with Immediate Results!

"Don't you just love it when exercise feels like it has a purpose?!"

That was a comment from Jill under my "5K Pioneer Style"  post. And it is so true.  For a person that likes to see immediate results for effort, it's hard to walk on a treadmill that goes nowhere or lift a bunch of weights and then look in the mirror to see nothing has changed.

Well, here's some exercise with purpose.  (I should have taken a before picture).  Recently, I've been putting in a garden.  My yard is on a slope, and I wanted a place to grow vegetables, so I put in a couple of retaining walls and soil.

When I said "I put in," I literally meant I put it in and didn't hire someone.
-Dug in and removed sod and hauled it
-Loosened dirt underneath, removed rocks and chunks of cement
-Picked up retaining wall bricks brick-by-brick from d.i.y. center and put them on hand cart.
-Put the bricks brick-by-brick into vehicle, then out of vehicle, then eventually into position, carrying many uphill.
-Did this also with soil.

This is the top level.
The almost-finish product.
I started off with two short walls that just
ended bluntly .  I added the top level and
extended the bottom levels, curving them around.

There, I planted white onions, garlic, collard greens, Swiss chard, lettuce, lots of spinach, summer squash, jalapeño peppers, carrots, parsnips, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, basil, cilantro, radishes, and tomatoes.  The Brussels sprouts will go in later, and I need to find a spot for the spaghetti squash.  I may plant them in front of my house with some pumpkins.

Hopefully something grows.
After I finished the garden, neighbors came over and offered their unused garden plots for our use.  They are elderly and don't keep them up.  My kids were thrilled!  We've been weeding and hand-tilling (okay, they weren't thrilled about that part).  My 11 y.o. son planted his corn "field."  My 5 y.o. son planted his watermelon patch.  And my 10 y.o. daughter is surrounding the garden with giant sunflowers.  I'm putting in cantaloupe.

We're dirty.  We're tired.  I'm sore.  But it's great to accomplish something.

I may see that I don't look much different in the mirror, but the yard sure is different, and that is so satisfying.  I tried to use good form while lifting each brick or shovel.  It seemed like every muscle was being used.

And I was tired each day.  A good tired.

I'm not trading my weights or kettlebell for a landscaping business, but it was nice to exercise the original way for a while.  

I have a friend who's exercise routine is vigorously cleaning her house.  She really puts herself into it and works up a sweat.

Do you have a non-gym activity that gives you a good work-out?
Blogging has not been on the forefront.  I hope to catch up with y'all in between summer activities (including weeding).