My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #69: Question for You (Kind of Woodworking Related)

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 1480 days ago 2585 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 68: Pushing the Pile Part 69 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 70: Thanks For The Great Responses Yesterday »

A couple of days ago, my buddy (Cosmos35) posted a blog which asked a question of all of us. I found this to be really an interesting thing, as it gave us a chance to really get to know each other a little bit better. As I read the responses, it was a nice chance to see what drove others to doing what all brought us here together in the first place. I love learning about people and since I have come here to LJ’s, I feel as if I have made many friends. Many of them don’t post their own blogs though and besides the answers and comments they give to me and to others, I don’t know a lot about them.

When someone who I don’t know posts a comment on one of my posts, I like to go to their profile and see their work and where they are from and all the fun stuff that we all pretty much filled in when we got here. It makes me feel as if I have a new friend and I love seeing the diversity of the projects, as well as where everyone is from and how woodworking has touched their lives. Lots of times I make them a buddy back. It is like a friendly handshake here in cyber space.

Now I don’t want to scare anyone away. I am not the stalker type and even if I were, I wouldn’t have the time to properly stalk anyone. Like all of you, I just like to meet and share with others who have similar interests.

So I site here just about every morning and write about my previous day or my life and when reading Cosmo’s blog the other day it occurred to me – maybe I should ask some questions too. You don’t mind, do you? There are things that I would like to know about you guys and I don’t really post much to the boards because it would be another thing to keep up with and I wouldn’t have any time to design and then I wouldn’t have anything to talk about and the whole thing would spiral out of control. (I am over-dramatizing, but you get the picture!) I find some of the most interesting blogs are the ones where there are some healthy discussions going back and forth between members. I realize that although my life is busy, there are days such as these past few where I am just doing ‘regular stuff’ and it can’t be much interest to everyone. Sure, there are lots of days when I can post project progress and stuff, and I have some great customer interactions and stories about the magazine and such, but there are times when I would like to hear about how you guys do things too. Some of my ‘bestest’ friends that I have made here are because they share with me how they accomplish things and cope with things and how woodworking affects their lives. After all, listening is part of being a friend too, isn’t it?

So with that said, I will get on with things.

Yesterday I went to the doc about some pain I was having in my hip. (Hang with me here – it will relate to woodworking and my job) This has been bugging me for a couple of months off and on and seemed to flair up periodically. Not debilitating, but annoying enough to wake me up in the middle of the night with sharp pain deep within the joint. I found it did more so after my daily walks through the woods. As a result, I pretty much stopped walking daily and haven’t done much else for exercise because I was afraid of making things worse. I finally decided to go to see what was up before the weather got cold and it got to a point where it was really bad.

It seems one of the problems is (and here is where the woodworking and job part come in) is that my job requires me to sit and be at my desk a great deal of the time. Either I sit at my computer or I sit at my scroll saw. Or I sit when I paint. It isn’t an optimal active lifestyle, to say the least. It would probably be OK if I wasn’t a workaholic and did other things besides, but since drawing and woodworking is pretty much what I do most of the day, it hasn’t helped me much. At least when I walked those couple of kilometers a day it got me moving a bit. The walks took anywhere from an hour to two and I guess they were pretty easy to give up – not only because of the pain that followed them, but also because of the time factor. I could work two more hours if I didn’t walk and I know that some people (like Jordan if you are reading this, or Martyn) will understand that I would rather have that time to create than walk.

Problem being, it isn’t good for me. I am approaching what they call “middle age” (UGH!) and my doc said that the last thing they want to tell people to do at ‘my age’ is LESS exercise. I have always been pretty fit and a good weight and I do eat pretty good most of the time, although I have also gotten lazy with that too. I guess it is time to reevaluate my life a bit and take some time to take care of myself.

So my question to you, fellow woodworkers – how much time to you spend doing physical activity a day? I know some of you have jobs that require physical activity and that is great, and I know that some of you aren’t able to do much physical work at all, and that is cool. I just want to know how you fit being healthy into your lives and still have time for woodworking and making the beautiful things you do.

This isn’t a quiz to be graded or judged. I really am curious. I know we are all different ages and all have different lifestyles, but I hope that opening a discussion of what works for us will help and encourage the rest of us to maybe do a bit more for ourselves and make it work for us. After all, balance is the key in any lifestyle, isn’t it?

I hope you all don’t mind me opening this kind of discussion. As I said, I really enjoyed reading on Cosmos blog “Why we do what we do”. It gave a great insight to lots of people for me and I felt I got to know them a little better. I hope this does the same.

I will look forward to hearing from you if you feel like posting ;) Have a great day! I am going to go for a walk today before it gets too warm out.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

22 comments so far

View rsladdwoodworks's profile


311 posts in 1803 days

#1 posted 1480 days ago

I think what you are asking is good most of us don,t get to to physical .tale I got put in the wheelchair I was very active did a lot of walking in my job and at first when I was put in the chair all I did was feel sorry for my selfe and now that I have my wood working to do I find new way’s to move sheet good and to find power tools to be low so it is safe to work on

-- Robert Laddusaw and no I am not smarter then a fifth grader ( and no I canot spell so if it is a problem don't read it ))

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4358 posts in 1670 days

#2 posted 1480 days ago

How much exercise a day? About 5 1/2 hours. My job, shelf stacking, means I’m continuously on the go. Mind you I get paid for it. I also do weights. 20Kg bags of pet food, at work, and I’m paid for that too. So if you could combine walking with something else either productive or just that you enjoy (photography?) I’m sure you would feel better for it.

One thing my work doesn’t require I do though is think. I save that for my woodwork.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View woodcraftertom's profile


38 posts in 1487 days

#3 posted 1480 days ago

well Sheila I am blessed because I am retired but do not sit around. My day begins at 5 am at the Gym for an hour of arobics and weights. Weekends I go bike riding on trails through the area. I spend around 4 to 6 hours a day in the shop making items for craft shows in the fall and winter time. Since I have found your site I have developed a fondness for the candle rings and find I am spending more time sitting and cutting them. I am also blessed with 4 grandchildren and spend as much extra time with them as I can. I have just had my yearly physical and all is well—I have remained cancer free for the past 10 years. God has been good to me for the past 65 years and I am hoping to make alot of sawdust in the time I have left. tom

View DenverDave's profile


41 posts in 1485 days

#4 posted 1480 days ago

I play tennis a few times a week. Aside from walking the dog and woodworking, I don’t get much other exercise. My work requires me to sit at the computer.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7596 posts in 1554 days

#5 posted 1480 days ago

Thanks to you all for your replies. This is just what I was looking for. To see how others stay healthy. It will be just the boost I need to get moving – literally.

I just got back from the store and tracked the road along the river. There is a trail that crosses the bridge and goes along the other side of the river and crosses again at the mill and main road and leads back here. The loop will be about 2km. I used to walk that quite often and haven’t very much this summer, but it will be a good start to get going again.

I like the idea of photography, Martyn. I always say I want to take my camera and seldom do. I am really glad to see that lots of others make time to be active. There are days when I draw or sit at the scroll saw and I get up after sitting for a while and I feel like I aged about 20 years. I know it can’t be good for me. I just need to commit myself to taking time for myself in a good way like that. I have always been from the ‘move it or lose it’ school of thought. If it works, use it! Thanks for the responses!

(Oh and Martyn, I love your new tag line! You ARE the Candyman!)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 2568 days

#6 posted 1480 days ago

Good question! I usually exercise for 30 minutes each morning on weekdays. Like you, Sheila, I’m an early riser, and find that if I don’t get the exercise in early, I won’t do it at all. I’ve tried doing it later, but it just doesn’t happen.

Last year, I bought a Concept II rower. What a terrific workout that is! I like that I can get a really good workout in about 20 minutes on the rower, rain or shine. It’s nice to break that up with doing different things on different days, though. Sometimes I just run for my aerobic exercise. I always do pushups and situps each time I workout.

I’ve listened to Zig Ziglar for quite a while, and one of the things that he remarks on in his talks is that he is more productive when he exercises. I find that to be true as well. It seems like having the extra time that you spend exercising would give you more time to get things done, but sometimes it doesn’t work that way. It’s all about how energized and efficient you are when you’re working.

-- Robb

View Billinmich's profile


235 posts in 2365 days

#7 posted 1480 days ago

Just started tread mill.Never really exercised in my life,always worked construction and played a little hockey( not lately)and figured didn’t need to exercise.Well retired,part my doing part economy and not getting any physical activity except shop time,my weight, blood pressure and diabetes have gone to high.

-- Bill in Mich

View tyskkvinna's profile


1308 posts in 1620 days

#8 posted 1480 days ago

I like to do my exercise late at night. I go running, which isn’t for everybody, I know. I really like the peace and quiet and I prefer to do it at a time when there aren’t many other people around. I also have a tough time being in the sunlight for long so night works best for me.

I’ve found that when I force myself to take this time for me (I try to do it every other day) I feel better all over – mentally, too. When I can clear myself and focus, I work better.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View grizzman's profile


6943 posts in 1937 days

#9 posted 1479 days ago

time for me to chime in..ive enjoyed the rest of the comments..since i suffer from chronic back and leg pain, my schedule is always all depends on what is hurting and how much…but i have found that staying on the move is the best key…if there are pain issues , you have to be the judge, since your the only one who knows your body…but after having read on what your schedule is like, i really think you need to have the walking time…having a stretching session in the morning is good too…...start slow and get your muscles stretched..i also have found the doing some arm movement is good…i do the lift and curl….i lift the bag of cookies and curl the cookie to my mouth…by doing so i also get great jaw muscles action…then if you get out and walk to the store for more ingredients…so you can see a great plan all come together…lol…......good post here…it is very important to get out and move…longer walks are good…you get your heart rate going and fresh air into your body…the slogan is really simple… JUST DO IT…......grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4358 posts in 1670 days

#10 posted 1479 days ago

Yes Grizz. In th UK there is a variation on your technique called the ‘biscuit crunch’, usually done with a cup of tea. Every hour or so.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7596 posts in 1554 days

#11 posted 1479 days ago

I heard that the ‘double stuffs’ work better than the regular ones. Is that just an urban legend or should I give it a go?? Tea and cookies in the afternoon is one of my favorites. You guys on the other side of the pond have something! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 1574 days

#12 posted 1479 days ago

Exercise? I’m on my feet in the shop from 08h00 to 18h00 at least. Everyday. I don’t have a shop helper, so I also haul timber, sweep the floor. If I’m not making furniture, I am at the sawmill, rolling and loading logs, milling lumber and stacking boards. On my “off” days, I am building a wooden house for us. All by myself. Oh, and somewhere between all this, I plant trees, work in the veggie garden, mow the lawn, fix the chicken coop, wash the truck, help my wife to school the kids. I do get to sit on my bum at night. That is when I do bids, correspondence, design and LJ’s. Exercise? I am looking for ways to get less!! For the record, I am 367 days short of the half century mark.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7596 posts in 1554 days

#13 posted 1479 days ago

Wow, Div, you are putting me to shame! I have to tell you though, what caught me in your post is that I am 369 days short of the half century mark. You’re putting me to shame!!!! :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 1574 days

#14 posted 1479 days ago

That is why you are so nice, you are also Leo! Don’t tell me you are lefthanded too!?

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4358 posts in 1670 days

#15 posted 1479 days ago


-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

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