The year I first moved into my current house was the year of “Snowmageddon” or “Snowpocalypse”, which ever you prefer. The winter season started off with a good 15-18 inch snow storm that shut the place down for several days. The Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, Virginia region really doesn’t know how to deal with snow at those levels. On top of that four of our houses are responsible not only for clearing our own driveways but the road that leads up to our houses, which is about 250 feet. With our neighbor’s small snow blower as long as you kept the snow levels to 6-8 inches everything was fine. Thankfully we were all able to do just that. The same couldn’t be said for the truly ridiculous levels of snow we had a few leeks later. Fifteen to eighteen inches is bad, but 2-3 feet is off the charts. Our area was shut down for a week, but we were left to hand shovel that snow, which drifted up to four feet in some areas, by hand!
Thankfully we haven’t had snow like that again. Being the OCD type I’ve always tracked the calories expended during snow shoveling just like I would any other exercise. Even on a moderate snow storm we are talking about several hundred calories of exercise. If done right, which means with proper form and alternating sides, it can actually be a great workout. When done wrong, or if a person is very out of shape, it leads to lots of problems that should probably be worked out at the physical therapist.
We had three decent snow storms already this year. None of these ever totaled more than six inches, but I was starting to get worried about if a “big one” was going to be coming our way. Thinking back to the Snowmageddon I decided to go big or go home with the snow blower purchase and bought one that can handle up to 21 inches of snow. I half jokingly said that by doing so we were guaranteed to never have more than a dusting again. How completely inaccurate that prognostication was came to light when I woke up to 14 inches of snow, and it still accumulating.
While I’m sure I could have burned a good 1000 or more calories shoveling out the driveway, I don’t regret one moment having this baby at my disposal! I’ll get my exercise elsewhere and save my back from potentially getting torqued up due to bad form and sitting on my duff too much this past month.