Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nasty work is AWESOME!

My yard is huge for Norway, pretty standard for the U.S. It is great place for body weight workouts, sandbags, and throws, and flips (you have seen the tire). The one problem is drainage. There is a system of pipes in place to handle the excess water flow from the surrounding hills, but apparently they like to clog. This means that the back yard is attempting to become a duck pond, and is doing an alarmingly good job of it. I have nothing against ducks but my yard is no place for a pond of them. There were many options to aliveate this problem; it happened that only the most sever method worked.

I started my day in a good mood and for various reasons it steadily decreased throughout the day. By the evening I was probably a bit miserable to be around. Anna’s dad came by with some tools and we decided to get to work, it needed to be done and regardless of my mood I won’t shirk my responsibilities. A simple job of digging a hole and flushing out the clogged drainage pipe rapidly started becoming very complex. Initially four holes needed to be dug in the yard, the pipe needed to be cut and roots and leaves needed to be pulled out of the pipe. At the end of 1.5hrs everything was still plugged up. We were a bit tired from digging and fighting with pipes, but the work was fun and cleansing. When we dug the second to last hole the adventure started.

We were right below the main drain in the epicenter of the burgeoning swamp when we dug the next to last hole, as soon as the earth was taken from its home the water rushed in to claim its place. I had to reach into the nasty smelling water, full of compost heap run off, to find the pipe. Once I found the pipe I had lay on a board and go shoulder deep in this nasty smelling filth to cut the pipe, then I had to spend half an hour partially submerged in icy smelly water, hand in the pipe, ripping out partially decomposed grass and plants. By now I was having fun, This had graduated from job to challenge and I would be damned if I let little things like not having dinner, borderline hypothermia, and numb shaking hands get in my way of a completed job. On the next hole we finally hit the jackpot. This being an arm’s length of gross smelling grass…etc that was clogging the pipe. The problem with this final glorious hole was the time; another hour shoulder deep in nasty smelling water, feeling for the pipe and cutting with a big sharp knife. Fortunately I have a pretty decent awareness of my body and its position due to lots of training, I didn’t slice off any fingers when I was hacking away with the knife.

There ware several ingrained traits that made this job fun for me and removed the notion of giving up; Tenacity, mental toughness, and joy. I need to see the job done, and even though I was wet and shaking for the last hour, I took a a deep steadying breath and found the pipe again. I needed to see my work through to its completion. The job ended up being fun because hard sweaty work is its own reward. Working hard and seeing your labors through gives a feeling of elation, and accomplishment. Nasty gross work can be fun if you let it, and the small victories help to turn you into the person that you want to be.

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