Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Does shoveling gravel count?

...it better!!

This weekend I was a "bad" girl. I didn't get my regular workouts in, not even once. You see, we are preparing to have our drive-way and walk done in paving stone later this month (it's currently crushed rock...who knew? I always thought it was gravel, but I've now learned differently, but that's another story for another day...)

As part of preparing for the paving stone, we decided to plant a hedge between our drive-way and our neighbour's, so we ordered the cotoneasters on Thursday, and Friday morning Les and I went out to dig out a 20 foot by 3 foot trench from the gravel (er, crushed rock) to prepare for the bushes. That was A LOT more work than we thought it would be... Then, while we were at it, we went and dug up the fine gravel at the side of our house and took it load by load by load....to our back alley to reduce weed growth on the other side of our fence. Then we loaded (and loaded and loaded...you get the picture...) big crushed rock from the front drive-way on the wheel barrel and took it to the side to fill in the area.

Several times during this all, my husband with a background in the medical profession, reminded me not to lift with my back. To which I responded, "No, I'm being good, see I'm bending my knees and using my legs."

Well, the whole job took more than 2 1/2 hours, and when we went in for a break, Dutch Growers called, our trees were on their way. So, long story short, the hedge got planted on Friday, and I was all done in (but my shoe-strings:), so we decided to leave the leveling off of the gravel we'd dug up until Saturday.

Saturday morning, I was in a wee bit of pain, but that didn't stop me. While Les mowed lawns etc., I moved more crushed rock and leveled the driveway down. Then I pruned our new bushes (if you cut them back 6 inches right after you plant them, they grow bushier), so lots of squatting. Then I inspected the hedge we planted last year between our lawn on the other side and our other neighbour. I always pull out any weeds or grass that I see popping up in the woodchips under the hedge on our side, but obviously our neighbour does not do the same on his, so I headed over to there, and with Les' help (and much more squatting), we cleaned that up too.

After another 2 hours of yardwork on Saturday morning, we headed into the house, and I tried to muster up enough energy to get myself onto the gazelle, but there was just no strength left in me. I lamented to my husband that I couldn't miss my workout two days in a row but that surely "THIS counts!"

I had a terrible sleep Saturday night, I could not lie on my right side at all, too much pain for my right leg, and Sunday morning when I got up, well, pain or stiffness are not even close to words that could describe what I felt, particularly in the back of my legs (especially on the right side).

Now, you need to understand, I'm a pretty strong girl, and I'm used to feeling some stiffness or soreness the next day after a weight workout. You can ask Les or ask my co-workers, I really push myself. I actually like that feeling in my arms and legs the day after, I feel stronger. I'm also used to a bit of stiffness the next day after a Saturday full of heavy weeding (er, squatting) too, but I promise you, the way I felt this past Sunday was far beyond that! Though I tried to hide just how much pain I was in from our dinner guests on Sunday evening, the little squeek that came out of me whenever I got up gave me away (and seemed to amuse both my husband and Caroline to no end;) Later on, Les said he could even feel what I had done in the back of my right leg. To which I responded, "See, I didn't lift with my back!" (Incidently, I now don't know if lifting with your legs is really any better than lifting with your back!)

But, alas, the pain is getting better... Yesterday, was a wee bit of an improvement, and I did grit my way through a 30 minute cardio workout after supper, and today, I'm feeling a bit better again...now it just feels like the day after going up another 5 lbs in weights in the circuit at the gym... At least THAT kind of pain I can deal with!

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