The hands. The hands were the first thing to let me know that my Winter-ridden body was doing something very different, almost wrong. Given that I have two days off from work and absolutely fabulous weather in which to enjoy those two days I thought it might be nice to till under the cover crop I had planted last Fall.
The idea of a tiller is pretty easy to understand: a gasoline-powered engine moves blades that chop up the ground underneath them. Actually operating a tiller, especially when you’ve been sitting on your butt all Winter, isn’t quite so easy. It’s like trying to ride a bucking bronco. It’s jumping all over the place and you’re holding on for dear life and hoping to keep it moving in a straight line. Depending on how you’ve set up the tiller it might also bite deep into the ground and that presents it’s own problems because trying to get the heavy tiller up and out of the hole it dug itself deeply into can be an even bigger challenge than keeping it moving in a straight line.
But back to the hands. They started aching like mad because I had to keep holding up a lever to keep the blades moving…and do it for 2 hours. They’re just not used to that sort of work right now. I had to sign something soon after finishing the tilling and could barely control the pen that I was using to sign the papers. Of course now, twelve hours later, the rest of my upper body is one large ache. I haven’t used these muscles in a long time apparently because I feel every one of them now.
I’ll take it though. It was a fantastic day and I was able to get a nice head start on the garden this year. Pleasurable aches if there ever were any.