Weekend at cabin a real workout

Over the last several months, I have had those niggling thoughts that “I am not as young as I used to be.”
There has been nothing conclusive. There have been some signs. Another columnist in the paper tells you that age is only in the mind.
My mind keeps telling me that I am a 20 year-old. My muscles tell me that, that is a figment of my imagination.
It has been suggested that good exercise with resistance training is recommended for people of 55. I don’t know if cabin remodeling is considered “good exercise with resistance training” but I am rediscovering old muscles and really believe that this is good exercise.
We are again remodeling at the lake. When our cottage was being built in 1968, my brother, Don, and I would have contests to prove who was stronger carrying floor joists and studs up from the boat. We could strain and carry up to 10 studs under our arms.
We had always done a bit of weightlifting. Not conventional by today’s standards, mind you.
Our weightlifting was carrying lead pigs from the basement of the Times building up to the main floor.
Each pig would weigh about 15 kg. Up the stairs, we could carry four at a time.
On Saturdays, we would spend much of the morning carrying up to 100 pigs up to the linotypes and the Elrod (a machine that made lead spacing).
After school through the week, we would restock the linotypes with lead.
When the family decided to build the cabin, carrying heavy loads was no problem.
Four years ago, we remodeled the main cabin. Carrying the new wood paneling to the cabin was tiring, but the work itself was not overtiring.
The toughest part was the installation of the bead board ceiling on the warmest day of the summer.
The other hard part was installing the ash hardwood flooring. I finally gave in and bought a pair of knee protectors. It took several weekends to get the floor down and I was sore for a good month afterward.
This year the sleeping cabin is getting its make over. I have been exhausted carrying the wood up the hill.
It is about 100 feet beyond the main cabin. I think that extra distance is what tires us out.
I am down to carrying five pieces of paneling, which are only eight feet long. It requires far more trips up and down from the boat.
On Monday, I was installing the new electrical fixtures. Again working over my head, I realized that my arms were growing heavy and had to pause several times as each light was installed.
As I finished installing the last light, I was glad there wasn’t any more because I doubted that I could have held my hands up above my any longer.
The lake didn’t even feel cool as I jumped in several times on Sunday. All weekend we worked. It was hot and even jumping into the lake and cooling down, didn’t seem to restore our energy.
But the paneling is now installed. All that remains is the new flooring.
A friend at the lake in jest wondered if we could just have “Samantha” from “Bewitched” wiggle her nose and everything would be complete.
I couldn’t agree more, but in the mean time I think my muscles and knees will again be tested.

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