The Great Outdoors

After spending a few days feeling rundown and uninspired, I was glad to wake up Saturday morning with a spring back in my step. 

Despite not being back to 100%, I went outside to do some landscaping. The backyard needed some new rocks for the planters, so with the sky clear and the sun blazing, I decided it was as good a day as any to get some much needed fresh air.

It had been such a long time since I had last spent an extended period of time outside in the sunshine. As much as I enjoy sitting indoors and peering out into the backyard (there I go being a typical Cancer), I never make good on my promise to actually spend time outside. 

You see, when I first moved here, I had all of these grand dreams of growing a garden. Perhaps I would set up a collection of planter boxes and buy a few patio fruit trees. I imagined growing fresh herbs and vegetables that I could pick on a whim. Many people say that gardening can be an enjoyable form of exercise, so that would have been a very useful bonus.

In my mind, the garden was going to be a fantastic new hobby that would encourage me to spend more time out in the great outdoors. That is, until I realized just how hot it gets here.

This year will mark my second summer in the desert, but I am hardly looking forward to it. It is only by hiding indoors with cool drinks and never ceasing air conditioning that I have managed to survive thus far. The unforgiving heat of the Arizonan sun makes simple tasks such as stepping outside to take out the trash a likely opportunity for heat stroke, so my garden never materialized. 😂

With the official start of summer only weeks away, I knew this weekend was one of the very few chances I had left to enjoy the backyard. So, with countless bags of river rock, a rake, and a bottle of water, I decided to resurrect my love of the outdoors by getting my hands dirty in the yard. 

Despite the weight of the rocks and the damning midday heat, I had no trouble getting the job done. 

Round and round the yard I went, hoisting and dropping bags of terra-cotta hued rock into place. I’d bend down and slice open each bag before tossing their heavy contents out among the bushes and flowers. With planters running from one end of the yard to the other, my squat-filled workouts really came in handy. I was out there flipping the rocks out of those bags like:

My adventure outdoors showed me many things. For one, it allowed me to remember how much I enjoy spending time in nature.

As a child, I used to spend hours upon hours outside, often doing nothing at all. It was always enjoyable to simply sit, listen, look, breathe, and appreciate the Lord’s creation without feeling as though I had to do something to distract myself. This can be hard as an adult. I have worries, deadlines, bills– all sorts of opportunities to feel as though I can’t afford to slow down and simply do “nothing”.

Even though my time working in the yard was labor intensive, I found it oddly calming and meditative. My mind was clearer than it had been in a long while, and I found such a sense of peace. I wasn’t particularly fussed about anything at all, which was a huge change of pace for me.

Something else I learned while tending to the yard was how physically demanding landscaping can be!

Well, I guess this wasn’t so much of a lesson, but a reminder. I have done plenty of my own landscaping in the past, but it’s been quite awhile now. It is highly likely that I’ve put on a few extra pounds as well as a few additional years since I last mucked about in the yard, so when I decided to lay the rock, I wasn’t too sure how my body would respond. 🤔

Fortunately, the last few months of working out on a consistent basis paid off. I got through the entire task without feeling the least bit tired or winded (Could the asthma be improving??), which made me very happy. I didn’t even take a break in between! It really showed me that my overall fitness has greatly improved.

But even though I wasn’t the least bit sore that day, I sure was the next day! Heck, I’m still sore two days later. Laying rock is such a great workout. It almost makes me wish that I could do landscaping everyday.

Almost. 😝

Today’s Workout: 1 hour. Cardio (Treadmill: 5% incline). 2.17 miles. 368 calories burned.

Words cannot express how badly I wished to skip today’s workout. I don’t know what it is lately, but I’ve been so tired; I simply can’t get myself together.

Aside from being out in the yard (and today), I haven’t officially worked out since Wednesday (Is that right? I can’t even remember now). Of course, it always scares me when I don’t want to be bothered with exercise because I know all too well what it leads to: quitting. That cannot happen!

Today it took every argument in the book to hype myself up enough to get on the treadmill, but even at the half hour mark, I wanted to hop right back off.

My back was sore from Saturday, my calf muscles were super tight, I was sleepy, and my neck was still sore from falling asleep reading a book the night before. In short, I was falling apart. With every step, I stared the timer down, wishing the hour was up.

I really didn’t want to workout today, BUT I got on with it. And in the end, I’m glad I did. ☺️

Today was Day 57.

Hate it, but do it anyway. 💪

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Featured Photo Credit: Tabitha Mort/Pexels

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