I shoveled the driveway and sidewalk today after getting roughly two inches of snow last night. I don't mind shoveling snow. It is exercise, particularly for the legs, arms, and core. To me, any movement is exercise. Exercise derives from the Latin verb "exercere", or to train. Exercise is training for life.

I was bent over my knee in the middle of a set of concentration curls when Denise drove up the driveway after grocery shopping with a house guest. It was the mid-1980s. At the time, I worked out in our garage in the 90-degree Florida heat, sweat pouring off my body. I had just left the Marine Corps and was now in engineering school at the University of Florida. As she went by, I muttered to Denise that I needed to finish my sets of curls. Our house guest replied with one word: "Why?" At the time, I could not remotely contemplate any alternative to the absolute necessity of finishing all my sets. I was raising a young family and seeking to find my professional place in the world. As a runner, I already knew what most runners knew long before the science would demonstrate it: runners and the generally fit live longer, healthier lives. At 25 or 30, I was exercising to prepare for a life of caring for my family. The drive to train was so fundamental to me that I could not entertain the thought of why. 

That was forty years ago. My family has grown to be successful professionals. I am now almost 70. As I pushed the wet snow, I realized how valuable deadlifts are in preparing me for the stress to my core as I repeatedly lift and throw the snow. I was grateful that they are a part of my workout routine. The roads don't look good. I may spend an hour on the treadmill this afternoon to avoid potential ice hidden by the snow. Either way, I will run after this session of shoveling this morning. I continue to train for life.