Monday, June 27, 2011

Dad swears by yard work

I was speaking to my dad last week about some of my fitness goals, one of which is to begin training with a competitive local sports team. I chose rugby, and he scoffed. He implied I was too old, and that I'd get hurt. When I said to him I had no intention of getting old at 40 I told him I didn't recall him working out or participating in sports much once he hit middle age - a point which he denied wholeheartedly.

"I still play golf" he said.

"Golf? That's your workout?" I wasn't convinced.

First, let me mention that my dad is 70 years old and he beat stage 4 throat cancer a few years back. So it's AMAZING that he's as active as he is. I have to give major him props. But my contention isn't that he isn't working out now, but that he didn't really do it much in his 40s.

When I told him that I never saw him going to the gym or participating in any organized training of any kind after he turned 40, I asked him what he did to stay in shape. To that he said his best workouts have always been when he's doing work out in the yard.

My first instinct was to call him out - yardwork isn't exercise! But in his case, that may be true. My dad has several acres of beautifully manicured lawn, lots of flowering, fruit and pine trees, bushes, even a water feature. And when he gets out there in the same worn red t-shirt and shorts I've seen him wearing for this, his favorite activity, over the last 20 years, he really sweats!

So, I thought I'd try it out this weekend. I, unlike my dad, have a postage stamp of a back yard, but there was about 20 minutes worth of work to do and I really did feel like I got a bit of a workout in right there in my back yard.

I doubt this will replace my regular gym and home medicine ball workouts. But it sure was fun!

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