I defy anyone to tell me that shovelling snow is not hard serious exercise. I came home from work (and a work function, where I did *not* drink a diet coke and a I had 2/3 of pesto/goat cheese pizza I ordered) at 8ish and literally had a hard time getting to my door.

Luckily, my driveway is the width of 1.5 cars and just a little longer. Unluckily, I live on a major street, which has four lanes of road, all of whose snow gets plowed onto the end of my driveway. Repeatedly. So it’s very packed and heavy at the bottom. Good times.

There are four houses (tall and very skinny – one room wide) where there used to be two. As a result, two houses have no front lawn at all, and my house and the one to my right (the middle houses) have a small, like 8′ wide, patch of lawn between us.

You can’t put much snow on 4′ of lawn, I’m here to tell you. So, what you do first is break a path through the plow pack to the road. Luckily I have a large scoop shovel (totally worth the $40) and it only took three or so trips to get through to the road. Then you have an entry point to shovel your snow onto the street AWAY from your driveway (this is critical, cause you don’t want them to plow it back onto where you just shoveled).

There was a small wrinkle in my plan. Last year when I was doing this, I had no neighbour to my right, so I was using the four square feet of available sidewalk plus the road in front of it all for me. This year, my neighbour had already filled it up. Curse him. He works from home. But! He was using a really crappy shovel, so I feel marginally better.

I got about 16 scoops onto the aforementioned square of land. And when I say “square”, I really mean a promontory of about 8′ of snow extending into the street. Then I moved about another 10 scoops across four lanes to the other side of the street. Then my left-side neighbour got his snowblower working and his wife suggested strongly that he do my end of our shared driveway as well as theirs. I love his wife. I told him I’d mow his lawn every two weeks all summer if he just did that this winter. He laughed. I’m not holding my breath.

So, on my 4′ of “lawn”, I put the rest of the snow. It’s now packed as high as my mid-thigh. Last year, because we had no thaw (which usually happens about every three weeks), that snowbank ended up being about shoulder height, because it compresses as you put more snow on it. Good times.

We got about a foot of snow yesterday. That’s a lot of snow, no doubt. And I defy you, any of you, to tell me that moving that much snow, even off a small driveway, is not a serious workout. I was a sweaty sweaty mess. My hair was dripping with sweat. I had to take an advil before going to bed. Good god, people. Sweat. S’all I’m saying.

Shovelling. The retro workout. And free!