In last year’s blog entry on my Labor Day weekend, I talked about my adventures taking care of cats and seeing Mars up close and personal. This time around, I spent my Labor Day weekend doing yardwork and using bladed weapons. In one instance, those two things coincided, and I have come to this conclusion: If you want a good workout, do yardwork without power tools, and bladed weapons are just really, really cool, even while doing yardwork.
The house next door has a push mower (no motor, no engine, all manual), which cuts nice, even paths but is a sunnuva-b to get moving when the grass is just a smidge too high (like taller than two inches) — the grass gums up the blades and the wheels, and you have to stop and clear the grass. Sometimes the blades get stuck in the grass and you have to give the mower a swift push with one foot while moving forward, so as to get the mower unstuck. My bro’-in-law, who was working next door, doing renovations, actually came over and said, “Girl, I can hear you work hard clear next door — why don’t you get yourself a gas lawnmower? It’s easier.” Well, he *is* right; it would be easier, and my father does have one waiting for me, at my folks’ house. But there’s something oddly satisfying in doing actual manual work when you spend all of your paid work in an office building or a classroom. I suspect that those who work hard manual labor as their jobs would find that idea crazy; but I like the idea of exercising for a practical end or a progressive goal as opposed to just hitting the gym, feeling like a sentiant hamster in a hamster wheel.
As for the bladed weapons — behind the house is an easement (that strip of public land that would’ve been an alley if it were paved but isn’t) that homeowners are responsible to upkeep, as it turns out (per a “friendly” city reminder mailed to me a few days ago). I attacked the overgrown grass, weeds, and wild saplings with a camp saw and machete while my friend attacked them with his axe. *Very* satisfying, weilding these things. And, in my training on this past Thursday and again yesterday, I found out that I do indeed like machete forms, even though I’m not ready for them (they’re a couple of gloves above where I am). I move differently armed than I do unarmed, even though the skills and movements to do both are the same. Whether that has something to do with feeling safer ’cause now I have a weapon or feeling empowered or what, I don’t know.
But bladed weapons are cool, just as cool as projectile weapons (that’s for another blog entry, I suppose), and yardwork will always be there. Why not kill two birds with one stone? 🙂