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Recuperation Day

on September 12th, 2009 by Rebeccca

When I was younger, if I did hard, physical work for a few days, I became stronger. Now, I seem to just get tired. I’ve had two weeks (well, really just eight days – 4 days/week) to build up those muscles and gain stamina. The muscles are sore – does that mean they’re getting stronger? And my stamina – well – I’m just sitting around today.

It really does feel good to be doing physical labour. I’m helping Galen build a deck on Saturna Island. I haven’t done this kind of work for many years. I still remember how to swing a hammer, even though it might take a few more swings than it used to take.  Some memories are embedded in the muscles. It’s just the strength behind the memory that is missing.

I’ve been enjoying myself so much that I think I could get serious about this deck-building business. Decks and fences. Give me a big hammer – that’s my style. Just don’t ask me to tack in tiny nails on trim or adjust a cupboard door so that it hangs straight. Finishing work is not for me. But decks. Sure. We could build several decks over the summer and spend the winter in Malaysia. Sounds better than the work I’ve been doing – finance stuff – staring at a computer – checking the clock. I can’t bring myself to do that any more. No! I picture myself being drug kicking and screaming to a cubicle and given a stack of invoices to enter. Sorry. I’m building decks now.

And I have another business idea. Week-long fitness training. For $150/day you will get waterfront accommodation, meals, and a well-rounded fitness program, based on the work I need to get done. This occured to me as I was lugging rotten deck boards up the hill. What a great way to get in shape! I thought of all those people you see through the glass in fitness clubs – working away. Doing nothing really. Getting nowhere. And paying for it. These people could be doing real, useful work in a glorious location.

Then my mind slipped away to India, picturing a man in Kolkatta, gliding along the street walking faster than we were going, carrying a huge load on his head. His body was lean. His muscles rippled. He was being paid for his work. And getting fit at the same time.

But we don’t do that here – we’re educated. We don’t want to do manual labour. Menial. Demeaning. But we’ll sweat away at a fitness club, on a machine that requires electricity, pouring our energy into work that accomplishes nothing. No! Don’t waste your energy doing nothing. I have work for you here. It is great body-building work for your upper and lower body, as well as a cardio workout. Take these two boards, one in each hand, and carry them up the hill. Do that thirty times. Great. Now we’ll have lunch.

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