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Active recovery day

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Today was my active recovery day, i.e., physically active but not terribly demanding. Spring finally arrived here in New England and the blustering winds of the last few days stopped just in time for the canal clean up. 

Lowell is a city full of canals that in the 19th and early 20th century powered the textile mills. (I live in an old mill building overlooking Hamilton Canal.) The Lowell Litter Krewe and the National Park Service and Lowell Canalwater Cleaners collaborate to clean up the canals, scooping up litter with 15 foot nets, sending kayakers in to pull trash away from the brush growing along the edges, and picking up every bit of trash we see on the sidewalks. People from ages 6 to 80 come out on a sunny spring morning to tidy up the city and the camaraderie is wonderful. Sometimes we have fraternities and sororities from U. Mass. Lowell and other community organizations. 

I also find something soothing about picking up trash. I'm not making demands on my body and yet I'm moving, bending, grasping, lifting, stretching. And the visual benefit is immediate: the space I just cleaned always looks better when I leave it then when I arrive. That visual tidiness is gratifying in a way that so few things are. 

Tonight I'll walk down to the canal I just helped to clean up so that I can watch the lanterns float into the darkness and be glad I was a small part of making this a lovely and livable city. 

fifth annual points of light lantern celebrations April 30, paper lanterns floating down a canal in the dark.

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Inactive recovery days

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Some weekends I have active recovery days, i.e., I go to yoga or I go for a walk. This weekend I have done neither of those. Well, not that was particularly active. I walked to the book store to order more books. Then I walked to Lowell Culinary Collaborative to buy chocolates and cheese wrapped in spruce fir bark and rosemary crackers. The salted caramel dark chocolates all for me. The cheese and crackers to share at the Flying Scots Fleet party - the kick off to the 2022 sailing season. I am tired and sore and allergy ridden so I spend today actively lolling about after having done all my errands - by car - by 10:00 AM this morning. 

But my brain is on overdrive today so I methodically go through my writer's notebook and transfer the information to the running notes document on my EMA. After that, now that the weather has warmed up some, I'll go for a long lazy walk this afternoon to find new bridges over the Merrimac River, and odd pedestrian bridges that crisscross the system of canals that ran all the mills. 

My active recovery will be premised on mental activity that has been documented and organized in the way it needs to be. And my body will be rested and refreshed for an upcoming week of throwing heavy weights around and trying to deadlift myself. Hah! (Only 7 lbs off my substantial body weight for deadlifts!)

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