It was another day in the yard, this time to trim back some of the shrubbery, and about thirty gallons of cuttings into the process, I noticed that the ol’ ticker was running about 50 percent faster than normal. I wasn’t exactly out of breath or anything, but I could feel the beat, which is usually the sort of thing I find alarming.
This spring, though, I’ve had quite a few incidents like this, and I’m starting to think that this raggedy old body is laboring under the delusion that it’s getting some real live exercise. What’s more, there’s a chance that it actually might be. Consider: I own an electric trimmer, but I did all of today’s work with hand tools, and besides the shear motion, there’s a fair amount of stretching and bending involved. Even mowing with the electric constitutes a workout of sorts: apart from the acrobatics connected with dodging the cord at every turn, doing the 5500-square-foot back yard in 18-inch strips results in a walk on the far side of half a mile. (The front yard is smaller, but it’s also steeper.)
Recovery time has been at most a couple of minutes, and at no point except, well, now have I felt that omigod I’m setting myself up for a myocardial infarction or anything like that. Then again, it was only 65 degrees this afternoon, about ten below the seasonal spec. Ask me in August when it’s a hundred and four in the shade if I feel just the same.