Working out with the Worms

Every once in a while, I get tired of running to nowhere on the treadmill.

Sick to death of smelling that special gym-fresh rankness every exercise facility ever built seems to share.

Ready to quit the whole going-to-the-gym-to-sweat-profusely-and-hurt-incredibly routine.

In fact, over the past month and a half I’ve averaged oh, maybe two workouts a week. Max. Which ain’t nearly enough. But when burnout strikes…it hits hard. And I was fried.

Then, five yards of prime topsoil (and a bit of cow poo) landed on my driveway. Why? Because my blood runs a bit green. See, my mom is a Gardener. With a yard worthy of a magazine spread. And she taught me a house isn’t really a home until it’s surrounded by flowers o’ plenty.

Unfortunately, my house sits on top of a quarry. You can’t dig into rock. Or grow anything in it. Trust me. I tried. Thus, the giant dirt pile.

So what does that have to do with exercise, you ask?

Well, let me tell you, after 72 hours of shoveling, hauling, digging and planting, every muscle in my body hurts. And since gardening burns approximately 383 calories an hour, I killed something like seven bazillion calories.

If that’s not a workout, I don’t know what is.

And I feel good. Sore, sure. But I accomplished something—something Big. Something that I couldn’t have done if it weren’t for those muscles I spent so many hours building in the gym.

In fact, if I had gotten that same pile of dirt delivered this time last year, I would have had a heart attack—or at the very least, a pain-fueled temper tantrum—before the first wheelbarrow load got moved. And the results wouldn’t have been nearly so satisfying.

So what did I learn today?

First, you don’t have to go to the gym to get a workout. But all those exercise sessions I do put myself through inside that hall of torture? They’re way worth it.

So I guess I won’t cancel my membership just yet.

Published in: on June 2, 2008 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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