Wednesday, January 28, 2009


NOTE: For all of my blog readers that don't live in Indiana, the relevance of this video comes from the beautiful snowfall that finally arrived...

Hey Gang,

Some of you have been friends, students, and blog readers of mine for a long time. Back before I was blogging, I was sending out helpful tips via emails. Now days not only can I blog rather than email, I can also embed YouTube videos. My, my, my how technology has changed what I do. At any rate, those of you who have been with me for a while know how I feel about using machines to do what we can and should do with our own power - you know, things like using a snow blower rather than a good old snow shovel. In my view, why use a machine, especially one that spews noxious gases and poison into the environment when I can do it with a snow shovel that leaves no carbon footprint, and it's good for me?

I enjoy getting outside, trusty show shovel in hand and getting in a great workout as I clear the snow from our driveway and sidewalks. Usually, the only thing that disrupts my shoveling meditation-in-motion is the racket of all the snow blowers my neighbors are using : -)

Driving through our neighborhood last night, I counted 10 people plowing their driveway with a snow blower, and yes, all 10 looked like they could have used the calorie burning workout of shoveling the snow rather than strolling behind their blower.

Now, I totally understand if your driveway is as big as a landing strip, yet I'll bet you could at least shovel a path to the road using a shovel (my parents are exempt on this as their "driveway" is 1/2 mile long!).

Personally, I enjoy all the goofy looks I get from my neighbors when I'm one of the few adults out there with a shovel. In fact, last year, my neighbor offered to use his machine to clear my drive and, much to his bewildered stare, I said "thanks, but no thanks". Honestly, if I were a gazillionaire, I would still be out there shoveling away.

If you are up for a little snow shovel workout, as with any workout, proper form and technique are crucial. Below is a YouTube video which shows the basics of proper shoveling. Along with this basic instruction, I would encourage you to keep your core activated, engage "Root Lock", if you are familiar with this yoga technique and finally, I would encourage you to be mindful as you engage in this activity. As you shovel, pay attention to how you feel, to the snow you are removing, and for each flake of snow that you observe. Notice the texture and quality of the snow. Observe the nature of snow - beautiful, unique, and transitory, just like your life. There is a lot of magic and wisdom in shoveling snow.




Christine said...

Yea ... one work out for the day already. The way the snow is coming down I might get one or two more before the day is over!

Paul said...

I'm from Minnesota and could not agree more! I got up and got to the gym at 5:00 for my workout- then came home and shoveled the rest of the driveway. It was so beautiful- the temp was perfect for working- the birds were going crazy- I sprinkled a bunch of seed in an urn near the driveway- they came in while was still shoveling- as if to keep me company. It was a very peaceful moment- and a great workout.

ProMotion at Klipsch Fitness said...

Amen, Coach Chris - 2.5 hours today, and 1.5 hours last night - I have one of those big driveways. I use an antique, long-handled coal scoop as my favorite shovel. Would never part with it. Shoveling is one of the "worst" things for my back and shoulders - so I figure it is one of the "best" things for my back and shoulders (wonder who I learned that interesting dichotomy from!?!?)
Peace - and still winding up the snow dance, hoping for more tomorrow! An outing to the park with long slats strapped to my feet is in order!!


Rob Johansen said...

Right on!! Way to go all fellow-shovellers!!!! Jen and I did two shovel jobs today (see my blog) and still had the gumtion to have a great run!

So......when we are ALL snow blowin' allowed! :0)



Chris said...

Hey All,

Guess we are truly just a bunch of fitness weird-o's. It's nice to know I'm in such good company. Thanks for sharing your comments and here's to a strong back, sturdy core, a powerful cardio-respiritory system, and a calm mind! And all this from a nearly forgotten practice of shoveling snow...

p.s. - Coach Johan, I used to have one of those old school coal shovels and they are the BEST. Gotta get me another one of those. My prayers are with you for a cross country ski session. Check out Aaron's blog, sounds like he went today - "One Day as a Lion" blog

Anonymous said...

I enjoy shoveling snow. So peaceful. Proper technique is a must. There must be something in the water on my street because there were more shovels than machines out last night and today.