In a past life I wielded a hammer and was a mediocre carpenter. As with everything in my life I taught myself and there are some things better taught by others. One lesson I learned too late, but have put to good use since, was to always buy the best tools as they would pay for themselves over and over again.
Over the last month I have assisted my brother-in-law, Christopher Moore, at his shop in Williamsburg. Christopher and my sister-in-law have started Noble Goods which, in their words, is “specializing in beautiful, celebratory, heirloom-quality objects for the good life.”
Today I was sanding coaster sets that are one of my favorite of his designs. As you can see in the picture above they are coasters but also a puzzle. They are made of cherry wood with inlaid resin and recreating the puzzle as you sip on a scotch is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
So ostensibly this post is a plug for Noble Goods—Christopher is a master craftsmen with a witty and forward vision that I love—but I can also talk about standing and sanding for four hours. But check out the link to Noble Goods first and maybe buy some Christmas presents.
Back to anatomy and life—standing still is one of the hardest things we do. Many injuries occur due to standing still for too long a period of time and then moving. These injuries tend to happen while preparing for or doing the dishes, or even brushing one’s teeth.
When we stand still for too long with bad posture our muscle getting habituated to the position and a sudden movement coupled with a creaky or unstable spine can lead to all sorts of trouble from minor tweaks to even herniations. Big injuries often happen from small events.
I’m pretty happy with my posture in the picture to the left. My pelvis seems in the right place and there isn’t anything I can really do about my head without sanding up at eye level. I also spent the day listening to Neil Young and Crazy Horse bootlegs so it can’t be said that I was really standing all that still.
The concern with standing still for long periods of time arises when you first move out of the static position. If you have been standing without moving and then shift suddenly it is easy to tweak something. If you know that this kind of thing is an issue for you, you can tone your core before moving to support coming out of a stationary position. It isn’t always the thing you think about when you are brushing your teeth but it could help.