January 28, 2004

Shintaido Snow Shoveling

Last night we got four inches of new snow and while I was outside shoveling the driveway this morning, I was thinking of Shintaido again.

During one of the last snowfalls, I thought of how irimi applies to snow shoveling. I had been shoveling the driveway for quite a while and realized that my elbow and wrist were beginning to hurt. After watching what I was doing for a while, I realized that I would push the shovel to one side of the driveway and, while standing very near the end of the handle, force the shovel up and throw the snow further back. Since I still had quite a bit of driveway left at this point, I figured a re-think was in order. The solution I came up with was to step-in. Step beyond the end of the handle, closer to the scoop of the shovel. At the same time, lower my koshi so I could lift the snow up with the strength of my legs and throw it of the driveway. This got to be even more fun when I realized that I usually only step to one side of the shovel (the right) and so it was interesting to try and teach the other side of my body how to lift the snow when stepping in with the left foot.

Today, I was playing with the idea of Eiko in snow shoveling. I was getting tired of shoveling. And tired of stopping at the end of the driveway to think that I was tired. Instead, I wondered if there was a way to make shoveling many, many strokes across the driveway feel like one event or one kokyu. To get this feeling, I added a mochikae at the end of each pass down the driveway. I would push across to the other side, step in, lift, throw the snow, mochikae and then head back the other way and step in with the other foot and continue.

It made cleaning the driveway more pleasureable without stopping after each pass. The continuous motion made it seem more like one event. The stopping at the end of each pass just served to make it feel like I was doing more work than I was and made me feel more tired.

Posted by rob at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)