Monday, March 9, 2015

International Women's Day: Celebrating Woman-power with Pickaxe and Shovel!

Yesterday, March 8th, was International Women's Day.  I must confess I had never heard of International Women's Day, until the Survivor's group was cancelled this week because of it.

I didn't coordinate these events ahead of time, but on International Women's Day I took a pickaxe to the backyard and ripped through the sod for a 3' by 20' (actually I didn't measure, but that baby was LONG) garden bed. February was a freakishly warm, gorgeous month here in Washington State, and I've been so eager to start garden beds in our new-to-us backyard that I just couldn't wait for my husband. Who is still absorbed in the cheapest-ever do-it-yourself kitchen remodel he started just before Christmas.  And from knowing us you never would have guessed, but I am the one who enjoys the grubby outside work, while he prefers home projects inside.

I suppose it had never occurred to me in the past that I could dig out a bed myself.  And it's true that I can't do it in the same exact style or with the same efficiency as my husband.  The pickaxe--which I've always felt a bit afraid of with its huge metal spike, which my mother-imagination can visualize going right into someone's head or thigh--turns out to be a great implement for a fairly wimpy forty-plus year old woman who can't push a shovel blade straight through the grass.  So, mind over matter. I can innovate.  I can use my brain instead of just my muscles.  I am woman, hear me roar.

So I broke up the soil, going over the entire area first in one direction and then the other.  It's all in clumps now, waiting for phase two, when I can load it into a wheelbarrow with a shovel.  (Or, as it turns out, just throw it to the side.  Since I haven't bought amendments and compost yet, I decided the wheelbarrow bit wasn't necessary.)  Being very very careful to keep my back straight and use my legs in both cases.  Now, it's time for me to go buy some giant bags of compost and load them into my SUV.

How do I feel the day after?

I feel awesome.  I feel accomplished.  I feel a little sore, but not nearly as sore as I expected.  And I'm excited that I've thought of a new way to physically work out that doesn't involve stuffy gyms, clanging metal machines, unfriendly focused people all on their individual listening devices, or the smell of chlorine.

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Here I am in Phase Two already, halfway down my looooonnng bed!
This year, I'm learning that I'm stronger than I realized.  Stronger in my mind, stronger emotionally, and stronger in body too.