How I Learned to Love Shoveling Snow

Read Time: 2 min

I live in Minnesota. Snow is part of my life during a certain part of the year. And with snow comes the task of shoveling it.

You should also know that I love being out of doors, in all seasons. And I enjoy exercising. In particular, I like to swim, walk, hike, dance and ski. I place a high value on doing a variety of activities.

One day a few winters ago when we had been having an unusually large number of snowstorms, I found myself outside. Yet again. Shoveling. I was not happy. In fact, I was hating it.

At some point I realized that my thinking was going something like the following:

“Got to get this done as fast as possible so I can get over to the gym to do my workout”

This mindset was stressful (got to get this done as fast as possible) and set me up to not have a chance in hell to enjoy the shoveling (I wanted to be somewhere else—the gym)

This realization startled me so much that I stopped shoveling right then and there.

When I looked up I noticed that it was a bright sunny day with a clear blue sky. The snow that had fallen overnight was still gently coating everything. It was still early on a Saturday morning so not a lot of people were out yet. It was beautiful. And peaceful.

I realized that right then, in that moment, I was somewhere where I love to be—outdoors. And I was doing something that I enjoy doing—exercising. Yes, shoveling snow is exercising. In fact, it is very good exercise. I just had to realize it and adjust how I was thinking about it.

picture of Lauren in the snow
Winter in Minnesota. And yes I am wearing a frog hat.

It took quite a bit of time to shovel that day. And I worked smart and took breaks and took time to think about how I was using myself as I shoveled. I got to be outdoors and got a great workout in. And saved the gym for another day.

Is there a task that you hate to do that you could reframe for yourself?

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