How Much Are Your Knees Worth? The Physical Cost of a DIY Move

How Much Are Your Knees Worth? The Physical Cost of a DIY Move

Tess Wilson
Sep 2, 2014
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

In lieu of hiring movers, we've spent the last two weeks moving all of our possessions from one house to another. A particularly grueling evening of work made me wonder if the money we're saving is worth the toll this move is taking on my knees.

Don't get me wrong: I don't mind the physical exertion, and even relish it. I particularly love lifting weights, so hauling boxes of books isn't that much of a stretch for me. The thing is, though, when I lift weights, I do so for about 90 minutes, every other day (to allow time for recovery), was very careful about my form, treated my poor old knees gently, stopped immediately if I tweaked something or just felt off, stretched thoroughly before and after, and ate as much protein as possible. Moving, on the other hand, means lifting heavy objects for at least three hours, every day, no time for stretching, terrible form (is there any ergonomic way to carry a mattress or a TV that weighs more than you do?), and hodgepodge meals eaten at midnight. As a result, my body is quite displeased with me.

I'm hoping they recover soon after we're done, but I'm terrified I've caused permanent damage. I hope I'm not asking myself why I'm hobbling and tens of thousands of dollars in debt for knee surgery and will never dance again down the road. Oh, because I wanted to save a few hundred dollars in 2014. But if I'm lucky and my relative youth and fitness protect me, the joint pain will fade along with the deep bruises that cover my legs.

When do you power through a strenuous task, and when do you declare it simply Not Worth It? Was there a point in your life when you realized you'd rather (and were able to) spend money rather than physical exertion? Or was heavy lifting an impossibility from the get-go?

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