Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mixing Up Exercise by Gardening

I have often heard it said that exercise routines should be mixed up a bit so we don't get bored. This couldn't be more true with me. If it isn't interesting or someone isn't engaging my brain in good conversation, then all I can think about is how boring this walk is or how much my body is in pain.

I thought I'd mix things up a bit today and try some gardening instead of going for my walk. I did walk around the yard, however, and made a list of everything that needs to be done. After doing this, I came to the conclusion that I probably should devote at least one day a week to landscape maintenance.

The woman who lived here before us left a beautiful array of bulbs, perennials, trees, and bushes. However, we are discovering what a chore it is to keep it all looking nice. The greatest problem, however, is that none of us know for sure how to do that. Besides a trip to the library, the best thing to do is just jump in and get busy.

When I saw my daughter's bulb garden on the west side of the house overrun with grass about a foot tall, I knew I'd found my exercise project for the day.

I bent over from the hips and began pulling the grass up by the roots. Before I knew it, my hips, legs, and feet were killing me. I thought I'd try a low stool. Nothing doing. Unfortunately, the only way for me to reach the ground was by bending at the hips, hanging onto the porch railing, and leaning on one knee.

By taking several (okay--a LOT) of breaks, I was able to finish the little bed in about half an hour. I came huffing and puffing into the house when I was finished, leaning heavily, like a cane, on the little stool my daughter had fetched for me.

When I first started, it didn't seem like I would get half way through the project. However, by having a small goal to reach (the bed is only about five feet by one foot in size), I was able to complete it slowly, but surely. What a great sense of accomplishment I felt! Not only did I get my exercise in for the day in a new and interesting sort of way, but I also now have a lovely bulb garden to share with anyone who passes by.