On the Hill: All you need is a shovel | AspenTimes.com

On the Hill: All you need is a shovel

EL JEBEL ” My resolution for the New Year is to stay out of the gym. It’s not so much by choice as necessity.

Who needs to work on crunches, lunges and squats when you shovel 4 inches of snow every morning? You know that silly “wood chopper” exercise that personal trainers are fond of having clients do? I’ve done several thousand of those in my driveway in December alone ” with a shovel full of heavy snow. Slipping around on an icy driveway forces me to perform lunges. (The dog gets excited and thinks I’m feigning an attack, so she starts bouncing around daring me to chase her.)

My shovel broke last winter, so I bought what was left at a local hardware store. I think it’s a half-ton model better suited to pushing light powder than hoisting heavy loads. Nevertheless, I stuck with it this winter, figuring I wouldn’t be doing as much shoveling as last winter. Wrong! But there’s a bright side. The heavy shovel combined with wet snow forces me into a squat as I load up, and a rise as I throw the load.

I’m not turning into Sheldon Fingerman, a local columnist who bitches about the white stuff all the time. I figure if you live in the Rocky Mountains, you sign up for shoveling.

But us downvalley residents have gotten more than we bargained for the last couple of winters. The Banana Belt used to enjoy the best of both worlds ” we could revel in the powder on Aspen’s slopes but usually just deal with an inch or two at our homes. Old Snowmass has frequently been the dividing line in prior winters: Upvalley from the Conoco the snow got heavy; downvalley there was significantly less.

No such luck any more, as my back can attest.


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