Thursday
May012008

« The Veggiemonger Fitness Program »

I think that the job I now hold has been the most physically demanding that I have ever had. That is, as a sustained, full time deal that is mostly comprised of actually, well, moving shit. My audio background had longer days and more fucked up demands in terms of odd scheduling. That work also saw me moving components twice my weight in and out of vehicles. But most of it was just part of any given shift, and shows varied enough that I'd not be doing the same thing all the time. It rarely if ever seemed to be full time work, but sometimes it was grueling.

garden hoe in the truck bed helps keep from contorting and banged kneesI have a hoe in my bed, paid for on the company dime!But I find that over three months of slinging watermelons and potatoes has done something to tone me up. There is a lot of lifting and loading. Lots and lots of hand truck activity, balancing stuff as I navigate corridors and narrow passages, coolers, stairs and slick floors. The day goes on for eight hours or more (I don't take a lunch break and often work straight through the day with a half hour of automatic overtime each day) and its mostly go, go, go. For work, I drive an F-150 most of the time, and up till a few weeks ago, it was an uncovered bed, which meant that I could move stuff around freely from side and back. But recently there was a shell put on and now it is harder to load and unload since everything has to be done out the back end. This means there is a lot of climbing in with very little headspace, and more twisting to reach around in the cramped space.

The company lets us take produce home and I've availed myself of some goodies. For a couple months now I've pretty much started the day off with a very berry smoothie with added protein. Usually it has blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, banana, cottage cheese, milk, and protein powder. Other fruits are added as I dare to experiment. At night, I've had the chance to eat a lot more veggies than I ever have, with far more balanced (usually home cooked) meals than ever.

I've biked to work a couple times a week since I wrote about that a few weeks ago. That has been good too, despite my hindquarter complaining that the saddle is crap. My knees so far are the only parts that take umbrage at this added task, but they have been bitching about any such activity since at least my early days working on stages in 1995-6 or so. But they pretty much forget about any added biking related soreness once work gets started off. The ride warms me up nicely for the day. There is the given matter of starting "cold" on any given day at any job, but at my job, it really is cold—about 37º in the cooler. Most days now though, I am in T shirt and shorts, given that most of my shift is still outside the actual cooler. I weened myself off the three layer program on the first week it got hot in February.

All in all, from eating better food and moving as much as I do, I've undone at least some of the damage done over the last several years of computer desk time. My arms and legs are a lot tighter in particular. The thing that drives me mad is all the finger and hand strength that is called upon, leaving me with sore hands in the morning after they have had a chance to rest without much movement overnight. I first got that sensation a couple years ago at AV Concepts when after one particularly hurried show strike, one finger felt this way. Then a few weeks later, another. Now its most of both hands that get that way. It is sort of what one gets for not using fingers for much more than typing on computer keyboards and only intermittent manual labor. It has sort of killed my interest in guitar playing since by late evening, the hands are tight again. Drumming with a little band I've been with these same few months has been bearable, but sitting at the drum chair has made my knee complain, particularly the right one which has forgotten what it was to use a bass drum pedal!

Far from a health food nut and fitness guru, I can at least say that I've done a lot less to poison myself as of late than any other time, and the physicality has been considerably more than since maybe 1993 when I last rode my bike for much. I do straight eight hour days (if not more) then sometimes come home to cook for the girls, and a couple nights race off to a bible study class or band practice. I keep pretty busy, and I aint doing it on the old diet of burgers and pizza and that shit. (I had an In-N-Out burger a few weeks back and it just looked gross to me, with its wilted lettuce and tomatoes. I retain the right to consume a tasty protein charged lunch burrito from one of my favorite taco vending establishments, and the recent $5 footlong special at Subway has reminded me of the good old days when I used to wreak havok at those shops.) But there is a lot more "real" food happening around here.

Oh, and I also managed to pay off my student loan from seven years ago. I'm glad to have that monkey off my back. Now I have no debt. Just bills. My wife though is accumulating debt like its going out of style, what with her schooling.

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