Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm

Real Work

I started bodybuilding a few years ago, when I saw a possible divorce coming down the pike.  I reckoned that if I was going to have to manage my farm — including stacking 25 tons of hay annually, breaking ice on troughs, repairing fences, rototilling, hauling feed and salt, etc. – singlehanded, I’d better get busy getting strong.

I started out with 6 pushups, no pullups, and only bodyweight to work with.  So I worked with it.  Five days a week.  Hard.  I pushed the pushups to 35 on a decline and pulled the pullups to 9.  I added a backpack full of sand to get me through most of a year before I could afford a barbell set.

By the time hay season rolled around, I was able to stack thathose bales.  And break the ice.  And repair the fences.  And rototill.  And all the rest of it. 

Take yesterday, for instance.  I trimmed all four hooves on each of six horses, one after the other.  If you’ve never trimmed hooves, just trust me — it’s hard work.  It leaves a body sweaty, bruised, and sore.  But it’s real work, my favorite kind.

For all that I love getting under the bar, real work is more satisfying.  Farm labor is the fruit of my gym labor.  The bar is the means; the hooves and hay are the ends, and I can make them meet.  I am farm strong.

I often wonder what city folk do for real work.  There must be options.  What are they?

PBC Day 6

Fuel:  Coffee with heavy cream.  Eggs over easy with grilled tomatillo salsa, bacon, coconut-roasted plantain, and blackberries.  Grilled gassfed beef burger (no bun) with grilled tomatillo salsa, sauteed onions, and cotija; grilled asparagus; sweet potatoes roasted in bacon fat.  Whiskey.

Workout:  Nothing official.  Nothing needed!  Those six sets of hooves were plenty.  Ironman and I also took a short walk after dinner

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4 responses

  1. You had me at coffee and unconditionally at whiskey. :) Glad to see you back blogging.

    September 19, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    • Cheers, Mike. Stop in anytime and I’ll share the beverage du jour!

      September 20, 2011 at 6:23 am

  2. David

    Very good thoughts about how to get strong and stay strong (the farm life). I too work on my relatives farm back in junior high until college. I can honestly say that farm work was an absolute “honest day of work!”

    September 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    • That is is, David! I miss the days when I lived and worked on a 400-acre horse ranch. Always work to do!

      September 20, 2011 at 6:28 am

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