With less than six weeks to go until the wedding, both my desire to get in shape and the stress of dealing with it have kicked up a few notches. Now that the dress has been altered and taken out, I'm not worried about it fitting anymore, but I would like to make sure that my arms look nice and defined and my gut doesn't get out of control once I eat wedding cake. So my short term goal is to tone up and not gain anything. But trying to balance work, last minute wedding details, everyday life and sticking to a fitness and diet plan is proving to be harder each minute. But in the last few weeks, I've discovered ways to stay on track by accident.
I've mentioned before that Billy and I live with mom on five acres of land. Some of the land had previously been horse pasture, and now that the horses are gone, we have been working hard on getting the pastures back under control. They have grown over with weeds that are taller than me, and nearly as thick as small trees. Besides the giant weed patches, there are also random items lying around the property (like an old wood stove, metal water troughs, tree stumps, and rocks). Mom prefers that our property not look like that of "The Beverly Hillbillies", and because it's just the three of us, the bulk of it rests in our already worn-out hands. But we paste on smiles and do it because that's why we moved in. Helping out means helping out, no matter what the tasks at hand may be.
Over the summer, we've been making dents here and there with a number of verbs: mowing, painting, trimming, fixing, hauling, and sweating. One Saturday, Billy was at the gym and I knew he had done a ton of hard work the day before, so I set out on a mission to move the giant pile of monster weeds he had cut down from the pasture to the burn pile we created. I tucked my jeans into my socks, slapped on a long sleeve shirt and gloves, blasted some tunes, and ventured out into ninety-plus degree weather. Little by little, I hauled big spiny branches covered in juicy purple berries into the back of my Chevy, and drove each load to the burn pile where I unloaded them. Two hours later, I was drenched in sweat, covered in dirt, and sore from head to toe. And my poor car was covered in purple slime and crawling with ants. So I had to clean that out before I got a shower.
Today, Billy and I were charged with the task of cutting down the sumac trees that were growing out-of-control around the pasture fence. These bad boys start off as little weeds and grow into huge trees, spreading everywhere their seed pods drop. So we grabbed a hatchet and hacked away. At first, Billy was doing the chopping and I was doing the dragging. But being the independent woman that I am, I just had to try using the hatchet. Billy bent the little trees over and told me to chop at an angle, so I went at it with a vengeance. A few chops into it, I swung and missed the tree, instead hitting my big toe right at the top middle. Yes I was wearing flip flops. Yes I'm an idiot. Luckily, the axe was too dull to chop through the toe, but it did enough damage to my nail and my confidence to make me cry. But I sucked it up and kept going ‘til we finished. We even got the old stove moved before finally collapsing on the couch.
Although the yard work has been less than exciting, it's been cool to see that there are ways to get my workout on without setting foot in the gym. In four days, I head to Atlantic Beach for my bachelorette weekend, so I know I will be playing catch-up when I get home. After that, it's five weeks of serious commitment before the wedding. And whether it's in the gym or in the yard, I know the work will be done. Let's just pray I keep all my toes in the process.
Published On: September 09, 2010