Real Life Gym 

For several years I have fought against declaring that there are physical things I can’t do. I like to blame some of it on my height or would that be lack of height? My family don’t seem to truly understand the advantage their height gives them. I am fairly fit for a middle aged woman and remember to engage my core strength when doing tough jobs. I don’t “subscribe” to a gym but rather have real life items that keep my arms, shoulders and torso worked out. I live in a four story house so just the stairs alone can keep my legs busy but I walk, swim, bike and run to keep my legs in decent form. So I have good cardio capacity and a willingness to try anything that needs to be done.

BUT there are things I just can’t do anymore. About 5 years ago I decided that hauling 5 panel doors up and down the stairs was getting to be a bit too much.  I can still lift them up onto the work bench and down or flip them over to do the other side but anything else seems a bit much. That was about the same point in time when I gave up lifting the new windows but I kept hauling around the spray foam insulation cans. The mortar bags for the rock wall comes in 70 lb bags which I can move around and lift down but I can’t truly lift them up. This year’s crop of rocks are in the supersize category compared to the rock wall from the previous two years and I’m going to be getting a serious work out sorting, lifting and moving these big suckers to the best of my ability.

Today I was stymied by the three yard power tools I use all the time and so there was some blue air around me. I get seriously ticked when I have to ask for help because I like to be self sufficient.  But today, despite about 25 pulls for each item (and yes I had primed them), I was forced to find my man to get each item started so I could use them. It is a constant source of frustration for me that he comes along and makes it look so bloody easy after I have just struggled for the last 10 minutes.

I am a firm believer that if you “don’t use it you lose it” as my mother will attest to as I constantly remind her to keep moving. I have had a few decades of back issues but it is seriously better with more activity than less. If I sit around too much it aches and seizes up so working it keeps me in less pain. I use some regular maintenance items like ice, heat, Voltaren and my Ice Spray, pain meds and a muscle relaxant if it truly seizes up. I should stretch my entire body daily as this is probably the number one thing to keep full mobility but I am on again off again with it. This last round of non stretching was originally brought to me by my January shoulder injury but it has lasted this long because I am inherently lazy about it. It is usually just the nagging of my awesome physiotherapist that gets me back into the stretch mode and this is after he has “fixed” whatever I have neglected and abused. He’s a miracle worker.

I, on the other hand, am like the Energizer Bunny. I refuse to quit and just keep trying and trying and trying. Hey maybe on the 26th pull the weed eater will start. Perhaps on the 10th attempt I will get that rock picked up and moved. Never ever give up could be my motto but there are times when I have too recognize that my man is inherently stronger and I should just ask for help without feeling like a wimp. Perhaps tomorrow I will?



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