No Pain, No Gain

No pains, no gains. If little labour, little are our gains;
Man’s fortunes are according to his pains.

- Robert Herrick

There are no gains, without pains.

- Benjamin Franklin

You might have to schlep bags of mulch, lean over for the umpteeth time to grab hold of a weed or haul large pieces of stone for a patio. When you first get started, your body may betray what you want to accomplish. In your desire to do well in your new profession, you may push your body to do more than it is currently capable of achieving. At the same time, you will be suprised at how strong you become.

While the actual physical work varies between jobs, most will have common physical requirements. When it comes to doing hard labor, you quickly learn to eliminate any wasted motion and how best to use your tools to help. Plus there are many common solutions shared amongst working gardeners to help prevent and resolve any stress or injury.

Learn how to push past the pain. After my very first day working part-time at a garden center, I had so many aches and pains that I told my husband it was pretty safe to say I would not be quitting my day job anytime soon. But in the weeks to come, I was enjoying it so much that I ignored my weary body and plunged ahead anyways. In the first few months, my muscles throbbed from head to toe in debilitating, agonizing deep tissue pain. At night, I slathered myself in muscle relaxants and took pain relievers to take the edge off the pain.

Know how to recognize good pain from bad pain. If you have any doubts about how to tell the difference between when your working your muscles to their ultimate capacity vs unnecessarily muscle strain, check with your doctor or a fitness specialist. In general, pushing through the discomfort of muscle ache is fine as long as the pain is not persistent or causes cramping, spasms or pain which hits a nerve. See a physician immediately if you experience any chest pain or other life threatening symptoms.

As you push your body to do more than you thought possible, in the end you will emerge stronger, more resilient and ultimately healthier in this new profession.

Image Source: artandghosts

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