CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

May 26, 2009

Spring has sprung…with yard work and fitness workouts


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SPRING HAS SPRUNG…WITH

YARDWORK & FITNESS WORKOUTS

      A mile on the treadmill at a fifteen-minute per mile pace…five minutes on the elliptical machine…familiarization with fitness machines, capped with fifty twenty-five yard laps in the pool. My new membership in the Ligonier Valley YMCA will hopefully pay off.

     My membership in the YMCA began three weeks ago, with the coming of spring. I’ve managed to keep this schedule—with some variation, since the swimming lengths have escalated up from twenty laps—three days a week, even though I’d prefer to do it five days.

     It’s a tough routine, because, as I informed the trainers in the fitness room, I am naturally a sedentary person. It’s a real sacrifice to leave the early morning enjoyment on my patio, drinking a cup of coffee creamed just right (no sugar, thank you), reading the latest novel (which I’ve lost, no big deal, I have started reading numerous books), and watching the birds as they mate and build a nest in one of our birdhouses. I might add that the park-like setting, with its yard of spring flowers, is the whipped cream on the sundae, while the pair of cardinals and robins are the cherries that top it off. This morning routine sets my day off to a good start.

     However, being a cardiac artery disease patient (a CAD—just what I always told everyone I was), medically it’s important for me to drop pounds. Last year I managed to lose eighteen pounds, exercising with my neighbor, and using her treadmill. Now I have my own treadmill, but it is unreliable, with an obnoxious personality. It won’t reach a speed of the fifteen-minute mile, and sometimes it jumps to the speed of a one-minute mile, causing me to remain alert and sensitive to its changes. When the speed jumps, I have to hop to the sides.

     This “formal” exercise isn’t the only muscle work I do during the springtime. It’s great exercise to eliminate the dandelions by digging them rather than poisoning them. I’ve done this in the front yard for three years, and truly, the “weeds,” defined as a plant growing where it’s not wanted, are considerably reduced. There’s also another unidentified weed that’s pervasive, with roots that trail about six inches deep in the soil. It’s pleasurable when a twelve-foot length of root, preventing it from sprouting its green leaves in the lettuce crop, where it overpowers the food item. My husband, Monte, has taken to removing the dandelions from the side and back yard, and we are virtually dandelion-free, as long as we are diligent with the few plants that dare to poke their heads to the sky.

      Last Saturday I found myself using the chain saw. It’s only has a twelve-inch blade, but it effectively cuts the overgrowth in the wild part of the yard. Where three trees grew in a twelve-inch circumference, now there is one. Yes, there is another day and a half worth of chain sawing to look forward to, and it will be done on a day when Monte needs the car and I am stuck home.

     This rigorous schedule, intermixed with the many May birthday parties, filling pots with plant starts (yes, I grew many of them), and attempting to keep the house clean (a hopeless task) prevents me from maintaining my regular sedentary schedule of writing and Internet work.

     Will my sacrifice be worth it? Well, my body seems to be responding to the exercise routine. I am feeling more energetic in some ways, less in others. I seem to be losing one-half to one pound a week (why, I whine, cannot it be more?). With a goal of twenty-five pounds, that means it will take me eight months. I am NOT a happy camper. However, I what I lose I want to keep off, and losing too fast may mean gaining some back.

     The frustrating part is that as my body adapts to the exercise, it takes longer to raise my pulse and work into a sweat. What occurred once in five minutes takes twenty minutes now. It’s horrible that the more fit you get the harder you have to work to stay fit!

     I must say I am impressed with the fitness room and pool at the Ligonier YMCA. The equipment is superb, and the staff very helpful. I haven’t managed to wreck anything yet, nor have I strained my muscles to soreness. OK, so I sweat—which I dislike. I guess it comes with the territory.

     I have discovered I have time to think while swimming. Laps are counted by naming the animals I might meet in the preservation and forestry lands that surround our home, with the addition of the moose—being a New Englander, I must start with this beast. So I think of a poem-Moose: Massive, Obnoxious, Obese, Sensitive, Elusive…and if you can do better, jot your notes in the comment box below. It’s a variation on my poem, Moose, Goose, Deer that I wrote while being a back seat driver while in Maine (Link is at end of article).

     After moose is elk, then bear, deer, fox, opossum, raccoon—down to ants and black flies. The only difficulty is remembering the lines when I return home to pen and paper.

     From the time I leave the house until I return is a three-hour chunk of time cut from my day. And I am not too energetic. I don’t even have the energy to stop at the coffee shop while I am in town.

     So I empathize and sympathize with all my readers who are struggling with the same problems I have. Let me know how you are doing in your efforts to “get into cardio-shape.” I’ll keep you posted in the comment box below.

P. S. On Saturday, May 24, three weeks into the program, I decided to spend my exercise time chain sawing trees, clearing more brush from my yard. After well over two hours of this activity, my granddaughter and her friend came and begged me to take them to the YMCA for swimming. I reluctantly agreed. While there the fourth day of the week, I swam sixty twenty-five yard lengths, beating my fifty lengths by ten. However, I did not use the fitness room (my chain sawing was my fitness exercise).

To read an update, and to read about a fitness milestone, click on Exercise/Fitness Program Landmark

ADDITIONAL READING: NEW ENGLAND LINKS

Moose, Goose, Deer

BLACK FLIES AND OTHER INSECTS: Then and Now

CHILDISH CHARACTERISTICS

IN NEW ENGLAND, HISTORY CONFLICTS WITH PROGRESS

IN SEARCH OF THE ARABELLA: A Story of Two Boats

IS THIS “CHEERS?”

IT WAS MEANT TO BE: A Meeting with Travelers from the Netherlands

KILLED STRANGELY: A NEW ENGLAND MURDER STORY

LEAF-PEEPING: Autumn Leaves

LIZZIE BORDEN—A REENACTMENT

LOBSTER-TALES

LOGGING IN MAINE AND ON THE PERU-BRAZILLIAN BORDER

NORTHERN BAYBERRY YIELDS READY-MADE CANDLES

PENNSYLVANIA WEDDING, (LAMOINE) MAINE ROOTS

THE PENOBSCOT NARROWS BRIDGE AND OBSERVATORY

THE SPECTACULAR PENOBSCOT RIVER A Natural Wonder in Maine: Part 1

THE SPECTACULAR PENOBSCOT RIVER A Natural Wonder in Maine: Part 2

SNAPSHOT ENCOUNTERS: Brief Meetings with People #4

VOICES OF WILDERNESS: PEACE MEETING

BLANCHARD: THE FIRST PROFESSIONAL AERONAUT

SITE LINKS:

www.beanerywriters.wordpress.com/

www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com

www.barbarapurbaugh.com

www.pennwriters.com

www.ellenspain.com

www.westmorelandphotographers.ning.com

www.ligonierliving.blogspot.com

http://www.methodists-care.org/

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1 Comment »

  1. Interesting Read! Very detailed blog.
    Thanks for sharing

    Comment by selenato — May 27, 2009 @ 5:05 pm | Reply


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