Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Getting Strong - Slowly

Getting Strong – Slowly

In the continuing process of regaining a portion of the woman I used to be, I’ve found that slow and easy must be the maxim. However, when the blood is pumping and oxygen is flowing in the act of manual labor, it’s easy to get caught up in the good feeling and over exert. I’m sure there is a fitness expert somewhere who would dispute this with the cliché of “no pain, no gain”, yet if you’ve ever lost a full day because of “the pain” you’re well aware there really is “no” gain in that scenario.

Last week my neighbors opened A Wing and A Prayer Café in Copperhill, Tn. It took several weeks of cleaning and construction. I helped only with a bit of the painting and final setting up. As most know, my expertise lies in writing, graphic design, and web design—so that’s what I did. I was lucky enough to acquire all the scrap wood from the construction for the building of my chicken coop, compost pile, and whatever else. Wood is a valuable commodity in the country.

I had help in loading the pickup but I did the unloading myself. It wasn’t a small amount (even though the picture doesn't seem to show that) but after the loading, every part of my body was flush and roaring with strength, so I continued. It took a bit to spread out the plastic, stack in sizes and type, and cover all secure with cement blocks. Afterward, I went back to painting for a few hours.

By bedtime the roar was replaced with screams. The muscles in my legs pinged like stretched rubber bands and my back throbbed. Eventually a tub of steamy water and Epsom salts became my midnight rendezvous accompanied by a cup of frothy chai tea. The next day was a complete waste. I managed movement enough to make sure the puppy went out and I received a minimal amount of nourishment.

It took only one day to recuperate, which shows I am getting stronger, yet it was still a lost day. Think of what other healthy pursuits my body could’ve experienced in that day if I’d only remembered slow and easy, because there is no gain in pain.


  1. Such good work, Donna. Coming from my own personal hellish experiences moving up 3 flights of stairs, I highly recommend stretching before and after any lifting to keep those screams at bay -- if you ever want some yoga stretches, call me up!

  2. Thanks Rachael. I may very well take you up on that. I have been stretching (or trying to) in the mornings and a bit of tai chi. Still, years of sedentary life takes a huge toll.