Saturday, April 19, 2008

House Cleaning as Cross Training

I’m a week out from the Kentucky Derby Marathon and my feet hurt. I have no idea why. I’ve asked Jason. I’ve asked my massage therapist. I’ve asked my mom. All have theories and things I should try, and I’ve tried them all to no avail. The pain persists.

SO, I decided I should probably stay off as much as I can before the race. I’ve worked really hard since my last marathon in January, and I believe I’m ready for another personal record. That said, however, my life is not very conducive to staying off my feet. Especially lately.

This thing called unemployment suits me well. I thought I’d hate it, but I have never had this much time to get so much done! I’ve mowed the yard twice. I’ve weeded flower beds and planted new ones. I’ve played in the woods with Mom and Dad, and romped in the Botanical Gardens with Julie and the kids. I’ve applied for numerous jobs, perfected my resume, paid my taxes, bathed Chance, washed a ton of clothes… and I’ve cleaned this house within an inch of its life.

And so at the end of each day when I haven’t run a step, my feet ache anyway and I wonder how in the world I am going to run 26 miles on these babies.

Well, yesterday I had the itch to do some deep house cleaning. A bit of mopping and a bit of dusting. I had a few plants to re-pot and a dog that needed a bath. As I began these tasks while trying to give my feet a break, I realized this very act of cleaning could be my cross training for the day. It made perfect sense! Here is my workout:


Start the morning with the soothing rhythm of potting plants. Become one with nature by sitting outside in the sun surrounded by your plants, pots, soil, and fertilizer. Lift the soil (breathe in). Place it in the pot (breathe out). Stretch for the fertilizer (breathe in). Place it in the pot (breathe out). Move in a circular motion stretching the back and legs as you methodically choose your plant – and breathe in.


After half an hour of replenishing yoga, move inside and pick up your dusting supplies. This must be done quickly, for there is really no way to dust these surfaces while staying off your feet. Hence the cardio. Select a wipe and begin. Wipewipewipewipewipe (sneeze). Wipewipewipewipewipe (sneeze). Quickly throw your wipe away or rinse your rage and make your way to the next piece of furniture. Wipewipewipewipewipe (sneeze).

(short break for peanut butter and jelly sandwich with sun chips)


Now it is time for the floors. This workout is customized for hardwood floors, but can probably be applied to carpets and tile as needed. Get a stack of rags and a chosen floor cleaner. On your hands and knees, apply the cleaner in a half-circle radius and begin. Scrub Scrub Scrub Collect. Really focus on those trouble spots - drool, food, whatever. Get in the resistance training you need by scrubbing HARD in those areas. Make sure to catch any sweat the drips off your nose with the rag. Workout may call for knee pads (as mine are kinda sore this morning). If you wish to increase difficulty, increase the size of your cleaner radius and assume the plank position when reaching those far-away spots.


This workout is tailored for those with large pets, such as Chancey Pants the Boxer. Collect towels, dog shampoo, and a large cup. Run warm water in the tub. Using your knees, lift the dog slowly and place him in the tub. Don’t forget to breathe. Holding dog in place, use cup to wet fur thoroughly. Holding dog in place, apply shampoo and massage. Keeping dog from jumping out of tub, rinse using the cup. When shampoo is completely out of fur, hold the dog in place and dry with towel. Using your knees (and a smidge of your back) slowly lift dog out of tub, encouraging him not to shake. Holding dog in place continue the drying process.

And so, by the end of the day, my body felt a bit like jello, the tips of my fingers were dry and crackly, my knees were red, but my house and pup looked GREAT! AND by the end of the day, my feet did not hurt…. Just all the other parts of me.

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