Friday, May 14, 2010

The Gym of Eden

Whew! My muscles and my back are very sore as I write this. I wish I could say that it was because I performed some great athletic feat, but no. I merely spent a couple of hours digging in the flower beds yesterday. In my defense, I did go beyond the ordinary weeding and instead hauled out the big shovel to excavate an inexcusable amount of invasive grass that had woven itself underground into a dense tangle of roots, some of which were as thick as my thumb and wrapping their evil tentacles around my tulip bulbs. It was hard work. But still, I feel like a sissy being this wiped out by a little spring weeding. (Oh to be able to take ibuprofen again!) Nevertheless, this is the good kind of sore, and my hands are the good kind of dirty.

I suppose that, after my last post, I should mention that the sunshine is definitely back. I'm pleased to report that the thermometer has been peeking its little head above the 70° line for a few days now. It's been lovely. And getting my vitamin D from the sky instead of from a bottle is, quite literally, priceless. I love spring—almost as much as I love summer.

A day this fine should not be spent indoors. This is perfect gardening weather and park weather and strolling-around-the-neighborhood weather. I'd be crazy to sit at a computer typing a blog post right now. Heh.

Having never been a member of a gym, I may not be qualified to say this, but I honestly cannot understand how gyms stay in business during weather like this. Physical therapy, of course, makes sense to me. And winter gym time make a little bit of sense to me. But when it's 73°, the sun is shining, a light breeze is blowing, the yard needs attention, and the birds are singing, getting your exercise inside of a big, boxy room lit with fluorescent tubes while plugging yourself into a pair of earbuds makes absolutely no sense to me.

Yesterday, as I did my squats and lunges with the help of a shovel, my soundtrack was a chickadee and a woodpecker. My workout partner was an enthusiastic two-year-old who could hardly contain his joy as I unearthed two fat beetle larvae, a snail, a beetle, a handful of worms, and an army of ants.  I got to chat with my next door neighbor. I said hello to passersby who stopped to admire the tulips. I had the satisfaction of separating the weeds from the flowers and preparing the ground for planting.

I was dive bombed by a hummingbird. No really. I was.

Is there anything so metaphorically rich as gardening? Is there anything so unpoetic as a treadmill? Is there any air so invigorating as this lilac-scented breeze? Is there any air so uninviting as the sweaty aroma of the locker room? Will somebody please explain to me how anyone of sound body and mind could opt for the latter?

Even if you don't have a garden—which we didn't for years—just running around at the nearest park seems far superior to anything I could be doing with a gym membership. And if you've got kids, I guarantee that they are dying to run around outside anyway, so we might as well include them in the fun.

It's spring! So get some sun. Get some dirt under your fingernails. Get some fresh air. And get some exercise where the lilacs smell stronger than the gym socks.


Bobbinoggin said...

how I look forward to the day when we can have property with a garden. and a chicken coop. and a goat. until then, container pots it is!

Carissalayla said...

well I certainly do agree...however when your gym has free babysitting and you need a much needed break from a needy 2.5 year old, takig a core and more class in 70 degree weather seem perfectly normal and sane!

Hannah G said...

Carissa, a class definitely sounds better than just hanging out by yourself on the treadmill. And free babysitting, that does sound like it could be awfully nice!

Erika said...

I definitely get more workout in my yard than anywhere else. And the tan ain't too bad either...
can't wait to see photos of your turned earth! (and your new black currant?!)

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