A Country – Style Workout

fence I knew I was in for an interesting afternoon when my husband asked me if I could help him outside.

Oh yeah – some of you know exactly what that means!

It means that all the projects I had started or planned for the afternoon were now on hold and I would be getting dirty, tired, and most likely sore.

Yep. It was time for a country- style workout.

Our calf – who has now officially been named Shakespeare – needed a bigger pen. Which meant that Jan needed all hands on deck to cut up fallen branches, pull out the old fence line and put up a new one.

Even as I pulled on my coveralls I knew that there was no chance that I would get to run the chain saw- my husband learned very early in our marriage to keep me away from all power tools.

Nor would I get to drive the 4-wheeler – my sons shuddered at the very thought.

No – I would get to do the more manual labor – the grunt jobs.

So while Jan cut the trees and Pedro drove loads of brush off – the other kids and I hauled branches and raked up behind them.

This proved to be just the warm -up.

When the fence line was finally cleared it was time for fence posts – about 60 in all. Guess who got to help load them? Moi.

Pedro would grab them from the pile and hand them to me to throw in trailer. He started out giving me one or two at a time – but the next thing I knew I was tossing 3 or 4 at a time.

At one point I saw that Jan was watching – so I had Pedro give me five at a time – just to impress him.  😉

We’ll call that weight-lifting.

Then it was time to move the cattle panels across the farmyard to the new pen. So while Pedro and Jan pounded fence posts, Matt and I started digging them out of the weeds.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with cattle panels let me clue you in – they are big, and awkward and heavy. And they have a tendency to get bent – and get stuck on things – like each other and rocks and sticks on the ground.

But that didn’t stop me. I dragged 16 of those bad boys across the farm yard, around the garden, and out into the pasture – by myself.

I’ll think I’ll call that the cardio part of my workout – or maybe resistance training?  I wonder just how many calories I burned?

But don’t worry – I quickly replaced them with the handfuls of chocolate peanut butter cookies I ate during break time. 🙂

The rest of the job went quickly – haul the cattle panels into position and hold them in place while Jan secured them.

Then all we needed to do was move Shakespeare to his new home.

He was a happy cow.

And I was a dirty, tired, and sore country gal.

It was time for a hot bath and another cookie – these country style workouts are tough!

Lessons from a Treadmill

Last  winter we added an new piece of exercise equipment to my collection.

I hadn’t even been looking for one. I didn’t know I needed one. But my husband did.

He had been looking for quite awhile – and then he found it.

A treadmill.

There it was – a for sale sign on the bulletin board at the grocery store. He called as soon as we got in the car and we drove over immediately to check it out.

He bought it on the spot.

I was a bit ambivalent at first – but once we got it home and set it up I got a little excited – until my husband plugged it in.

Whoa! This was a horse of a different color! None of my other equipment had to be plugged in. I provided all the horsepower they needed. If I slowed down – they slowed down. If I stopped – they stopped.

Not this new guy.

Oh no. It just continues running -even if I don’t.

I had mental images of me flying off the back end and landing in a very ungraceful heap on the floor while the skin of my face is scraped off by the belt.

Ka- chunk. Ka-chunk. Ka-chunk.

Or having my shoe strings get caught – flinging me off the side while my foot is hopelessly tangled.

Can’t you just read the headlines: “Women Maimed by Rogue Treadmill” or “Uncoordinated Amateur  On Treadmill Propelled Through Window”.

The truth of the matter was that I was scared of it.

That’s right – I was just plain scared to not be in control.

But I finally faced down those fears and actually got on the thing and turned it on – I learned something very valuable.

The treadmill pushed me beyond my comfort zone. It made me work out harder than I made myself and in the process it made my body stronger and more fit.

Can you see the spiritual connection?

When I let the Lord take control of my life – He may lead me to places that I’m unfamiliar with and situations that I would rather not  be in.  He will push me harder than I would push myself.

He will lovingly  take me into uncharted territory where I need to depend on Him more – and in the process make me a stronger, more useful vessel for Him.

So…what do you need to relinquish control of today?

Are Wii Fit or are Wii Not?

Wii Fit

I have my 2 Chicago nephews here for the week. Along with their play clothes, boots and school books, they packed their Wii.

At first I wasn’t all that interested, I just figured it would keep everybody entertained for a few minutes and then would cause more than a few fights over whose turn it was.

(I was right about the fighting part.)

But the Wii took on a whole new dimension when I discovered that they had brought Wii Fit.

I watched with interest as the kids set up my 12 year old son. The Wii figured his height, age and even weighed him – then figured his BMI. The next part scared me spitless – they showed a chart on the screen starting with normal at the bottom and heading upwards to overweight and right into obese. It had a line indicating where he was (thankfully it was normal!)

I gulped and slid down on the couch trying to figure out a way to use the Wii without having it tell the room my BMI and show my chart!

I could just imagine the smoke billowing out as the Wii screams in pain “Get that fat lady off- she’s too heavy – overweight – tilt- tilt!’

No, my experimenting had to done alone, and with a secret identity.

I let my son play with it for a few minutes and then sent him (and the rest of the crew) off to do school. When I was sure I was alone, I climbed up on the Wii balance board and pressed the button, thinking I would pretend to be my 12 y/o son.

Ha! You can’t fool a Wii! It immediately said, “You weigh considerably more than before, are you sure you want to continue?”

Of course I want to continue!

Well, then again, maybe I don’t. By the time I had been hit in the head multiple times by flying soccer cleats and pandas, drowned in the river, and fallen to my death from the high wire, I began to rethink this entire Wii experience.

Maybe I needed to move beyond the children’s favorites and discover the other side of the Wii. The kinder, gentler side. Yoga.

How hard can be it be – really? You just stand in these positions.

Or not.

Trust me, it’s a whole lot harder than it looks. It actually hurts. My “tree” position looked like a tornado had come through.

But my one saving grace was the basic step. Up down, up down, step left, step, step. Hey- this is easy! I started to get into it and jazz up my steps with a few claps.

The children gathered around me in awe… wow- the old gal can really move! She dominates on the steps!

Finally! I had discovered something that I could do better than the children. Thanks to years of cheerleading, this mom can still keep beat and move her feet!

Maybe this Wii thing ain’t so bad after all…

A Workout Room

502px-twodumbbellsI really don’t like to sweat.

Exercise was never my favorite thing to do. It still isn’t.

But I have now reached an age where exercise is a needed thing. 😦

I have in the past done video work-outs. They were very effective for awhile. But eventually I would get bored and have to force myself to do them.

I also discovered that my muscles need variety. They soon get accustomed to the same exercises and don’t need to work as hard.

I love taking a walk, but in the dead of an Iowa winter, that isn’t always possible.

So we started collected exercise equipment.  I am amazed at what you can find at garage sales!

A Schwinn aerodyne, a weight bench, and even a Nordic Track stair stepper for $1.

After we moved, all of these equipment slowly started to congregate into our unfinished basement.

I looked around the other day and said, “By golly, I have my very own workout room!”

We added a CD player, an old TV set with a DVD player and several tapes.

Everyday, I have a choice of exercise equipment and can choose what I want to watch while I work out.

Now if I can just motivate myself to actually use them…