Monday, November 17, 2008

There is a reason they call it Fall

Remember my big tree in the front yard with all the pretty yellow-gold leaves?



Well, it took only three days for it to fall apart.



So, I spent two and a half hours to day adjusting the disposition of the leavage in my yard.



Instead of a generally even distribution of parts all over the yard (and that of the neighbors), I moved them all closer to the curb so the city men can vacuum them up some day soon (one of the benefits of living in the city).

At the risk of TMI I will provide some details of the raking session today.

Some background:
Mondays are weight lifting days and I exercise in the morning about an hour after breakfast.
Which I did this morning.
It is an upper body session involving back, chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps, and abs.
(Lower body - legs - are handled by my walking and running five days a week.)

Three weeks ago I added three new exercises to the Monday party to bump up the total poundage lifted to make it more closely match the total pounds I lift on Thursdays - about 23,000 pounds if you are counting.
End of background.

This morning's session was very productive in that I pounded my upper body parts into useless pulp and it took almost an hour for them to recover enough for them to be useful again.
I waited a couple of hours for the outside temperature to warm up a bit, had an early lunch at 10:30 (I was HUNGRY), then grabbed my cotton gloves and went outside.

I knew that a couple of hours of raking would further exercise my already pounded upper parts, but I wanted to get this done before tomorrow, when it would be even colder (and maybe windy-er).
So, it was suck-it-up time.

Raking leaves is a great whole body aerobic/anaerobic exercise that involves legs, hips, back, tummy obliques/intercostals, lats, front, middle and rear deltoids, biceps, triceps and forearms.
EVERYBODY dances at a leaf-raking party.

About a half an hour into the festivities, my biceps began to cramp.
This had never happened to me before and was a weird sensation.
Sadly, the only cure for muscle cramps is cessation of the stimulus, stretching the affected muscle and ingestion of potassium.
Bananas and orange juice are very good sources of potassium but I had neither of them on hand.
So I adjusted my technique to give my complaining bi's some rest.

More background:
After I started weight lifting and studying for my ACE personal trainer exam, I realized that almost every household task was similar to an exercise I was doing in my gym. (pushing the lawnmower was similar to doing bench presses, etc.)
I was amazed at how many gym moves were mimicked by real world activities around the house or at work.
End of more background.

So I was interested in the amount of work my intercostal/oblique abdominal muscles were doing as I twisted my torso while raking my leaves toward me or next to me.
Similar to sweeping the floor, but with more resistance. (leaves are heavy - especially if they are wet.)

Anyway, after two-and-a-half hours of playing in the front yard, the leaves are ensconced next to the curb for the big sucker truck to come by and eat them.
Tuesday is running day and I may be sore tomorrow when I run in the sub-freezing pre-dawn local three-miler.

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