The one thing that I miss about weight lifting heavy is pain. Muscle pain. I am addicted to it and always have been. Sometimes I feel like if it were the sole reason that I lifted in the first place, I'd still be engaging in traditional "fitness" on a regular basis.
I love the feeling of sore muscles. Tight and incredibly raw, needing rubbed and stretched and massaged with a hot shower... There is absolutely nothing in this world that makes me feel more alive and thankful for my body than the feeling of aching muscles after a hard day's work.
Having just spent two weekends in a row installing a French drain under my house because the first one was not installed properly and got clogged, I can tell you a thing or five about pain. First, the digging. With short-handled shovels and little shortened hoes, headlamps on, duck walking and crawling through mud. We had to widen the drain trench (another thing not done properly the first time), install new pipe and rake out/haul out all the dirt we dug up. I got a whole new appreciation for coal mining while my dad told me stories about being "underground".
Then the gravel. Oh my the gravel. You can't just toss it in there because the house is already on top of where it needs to go. We got it delivered but they had to put it on the opposite side of the house of the crawl space door because there is no way to drive a truck to where we needed it. We had to shovel it into dad's ATV cart, drive it to the correct side of the house, dump it, shovel more. We did this over and over until we'd get a decent pile to work with. Then, to get it under the house and where it needed to be dad built a little cart (just big enough to hold gravel but still fit through the crawl space door) out of scrap wood he had in his workshop. The back tires were old lawnmower tires and the front tires were off a trashcan. There was a 100 ft. clothesline on the front and one on the back. I would fill the cart and he would pull it to the other end of the house, dump it in the trench and I would pull it back, fill it...over and over again we did this.
By the end of this weekend all we have left is finish work. Filling the final few feet of trench, mortar for the area around the drain where it leads from the crawl space to outside, putting down new, clean moisture barrier material where we were working...
I'm sore from head to toe. Shoveling is like THE close second to chopping wood for a full-body workout. This whole project cost around $400 in materials. Interestingly enough you'd pay a few thousand bucks to have someone do it for you. It is hard-ass physical labor in less than ideal conditions. My dad is 78 years old and other than having to rest more often than he used to he still outworks me.
When I'm sore like this I think about beginning a regular work-out program again. I think about how much I love being sore and how it is an addiction that's actually good for you so I should take advantage of it. Then I think about lifting a weight and the repetitive nature of counting sets and reps and thinking about different body parts on different days and... Then I start looking for other reasons to shovel or chop wood instead.
Trying to live well in every way...and sometimes laughing about it later.