Friday, October 28, 2011

Fit for Real Life

Yesterday we made firewood. The wood was already cut into rounds; it needed to be split, carried to the woodshed, and stacked. We heat with wood only, and winter is closing in, so this isn't a job that can be taken lightly. When you live in the North Woods, having enough firewood is quite literally necessary for survival.

I went for a run, threw meat in the oven for lunch, assigned jobs to the kids, and got to work. Three hours later, another full cord of wood (more or less) was sitting neatly in the shed, ready to keep us cozy this winter. It's a tough job; lots of lifting, throwing, shoving, carrying, and walking. The boys helped a lot, but this time, I chose to do a lot of the work myself.

What's the point of weight lifting if I can't (or won't) lift firewood? If I can do an hour of cardio, but can't tolerate a few hours' labor around the house or yard, can I really say I'm fit? If all my physical activity for the day takes place in the context of a structured workout, then something is out of balance.

Part of this attitude comes from the fact that, for me, working out is "fun" and scrubbing the bathroom or cleaning the yard is decidedly "not fun". All the time, I'm telling the kids that life is not all about having fun. There are some things you do just because you have to do them, and you might as well make the best of it. I suppose it is time for me to start actually listening to all this fantastic advice I'm constantly doling out.

For now, my workout plan is something like this: run every other day (alternating fast, easy, and long runs); cross-train with weights or yoga on non-run days; and something active (house or yard work, trips to town, whatever) every day.

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