There are reasons we needed to move seven cubic yards of gravel through 175 yards of forest to a meadow (that’s 160 meters for those of you who prefer the metric system). And because of this task, a number of facts got researched on the Internet —
Seven cubic yards of gravel will weigh between 16,800 – 20,300 pounds (6,616 – 9,205 kilograms)
You can use either a two cubic foot wheelbarrow or a three cubic foot wheelbarrow for this kind of work.
There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard
On average a cubic foot of gravel weighs 330 pounds (or about 150 kilograms)
Approximately six shovelfuls (heaping) make up a cubic foot
There are somewhere between 9 and 14 wheel barrow trips per cubic yard (depending on the size of the wheel barrow and how much gravel you put in it)
The maximum sweat rate for a trained athlete is about 2-3 litres/hour; this results in a 2-3% decrease in body weight (I’m not an trained athlete and definitely a “sweater”, so let’s say it’s more for me)
The pile was something we had been working on over the past couple of weekends and my goal was to move what was remaining so we could get onto other things — I affectionately call it Egyptian slave labour because it involves moving stone from one place to another without dying on the way.
With food and water to power my way, one pile got smaller while another got bigger — and as the day progressed, my sweat soaked shirt started to weigh on me and I needed to set the wheelbarrow down more regularly between piles. As I dumped the last load I said to no one, “I’m done”; I wasn’t making a statement but rather a realization that there was no more I could do.
I wasn’t finished moving the pile of gravel and I wasn’t quitting — I was just spent, and could do no more.
When I came back to the small pile I tried to motivate myself to finish it off — there really wasn’t much left but I couldn’t; I had done my best and after giving it my all, I fell short. What else can you can ask when you have done your best and there was no more to give? (As an aside, is it me or does life seem like one big meme.)
I should also point out that all of this was accomplished while staying true to the Egyptian slave labourer credo, “Do it without dying on the way”. Because after all, there is always tomorrow and you’re still alive to make it happen.