A Different Kind of Strength Workout

Today I got a different kind of strength workout.

I spent the day outside weeding.

The Playground Improvement Project is one of the New York Junior League’s signature projects. Every year, our volunteers (as well as some friends, family and other organizations’ volunteers) contribute more than 10,000 hours to clean up a park or playground in Manhattan.

This year, our park is the East River Park.

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We got there around 8:30, and our group was assigned to weed.

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BRING. IT. ON. By bring it on, I mean Lacey, how about you take some awkward pics of me? Thanks.

In all seriousness, weeding is definitely a good workout. I probably did a million squats and lots of weed-pulling, and I know I’m going to be sore tomorrow.

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Our day of volunteering also includes donated lunches. I went for the California Turkey Wrap because I assumed it meant avocado. The box also had Sun Chips, a little pasta salad, a little fruit salad and a cookie. After a few hours work, I inhaled the contents of the box and almost ate the box iteself.

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This is my fourth year volunteering on this project, and our other parks have been on the Lower East Side, Harlem and…I don’t remember where the first one was.

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This year’s park was on the water, which was so nice and relaxing. This is also the path that I run on when I run on the East Side, so it was funny to watch others running. I saw runners of all different speeds, and wondered which of the runners I look like when running.

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Be wary of women with a pitchfork.

Once we were done, Lacey and i ended up walking back towards my apartment–some two miles from where we were, stopping at the Grape and Grain on our way back. (I had a grain, she had a grape.)

And then I collapsed onto my bed in the best nap ever.

Do you volunteer? Also, any activities in your life that aren’t necessarily a workout but sure as hell feel like one?

8 comments on “A Different Kind of Strength Workout

  1. Meghan

    Gardening/Weeding is such a good workout! I dug up a vegetable garden in our side yard last weekend and I couldn’t believe how sore my arms and back were for the next few days.

    1. Andre Smart

      That is really great of you Meghan. But I will advise that when gardening you put gloves on, just to protect against some bruises that may leave permanent marks. It is a really great job you are doing helping the community.

  2. mom

    With great pride I am so proud of you, Your an asset to your organization
    helping others and the community,

    Love Mom

  3. Kimra

    Ha, there’s a beer/wine bar out here called Grape and Grain too! I didn’t volunteer for a long time, then I did and it was awesome, then I got busy and stopped … obviously I need to start up again. I really miss it.

  4. Megan @ Run Like a Grl

    I used to volunteer with children but haven’t in a while since I started grad school. I would love to get back into it and you’ve reminded me that I miss it! Its great to get involved locally so you actually see the results of your hard work! Great job!

  5. Jill

    Good for you. I used to have a co-worker who scoffed at the idea of gardening being a workout – clearly he did not know how my thighs can feel after a marathon weeding session!! 🙂


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