It seems crazy to me now, but one of my concerns about moving back to the country was how I would manage to get fit.

I’m not sure why I thought fitness would be harder in the country. It’s not like city life was a stellar example of health and fitness. Not enough movement, too much pizzabeer (a term coined by my youngest sister to describe our #1 dietary foe). Sure, there were gyms in Seattle. I used to pay for an awesome gym that I almost never used. I also lived across the street from an awesome park, right by the Mountain to Sound trail. I appreciated the park a lot, but mostly through the window. The real problem was that I just didn’t prioritize fitness. While I theoretically valued healthy food and workouts, a cold, hard look at how I spent my time revealed that I clearly valued eating out and watching anime a lot more.

Moving to the country was supposed to be a life overhaul, so I decided I had to make fitness a priority. Since I’ve always loved the Nerd Fitness approach to getting healthy, one of the first things I did upon moving out here was enlist an ally in my cause. That ally ended up being a bit unlikely . . . my thirteen-year-old niece, Jayme.

After asking my sister for permission to work out with her oldest daughter a few times a week, I sold Jayme on the idea. Like me, she’s a huge nerd, so all it took were the words, “Legend of Zelda workout.”

I didn’t entirely realize how awesome an ally she would be until I heard a knock on my door the next Monday morning. As per my old habits, I had launched into my work week with vague ideas about working out at some point. I even had it on my Trello launching pad — a wishy-washy “work out with Jayme” under the “this week” list, no date or time assigned. But there were work deadlines, and blog deadlines, and so I decided I’d firm up a time with her . . . later. Instead, I spent the morning on my computer, until she knocked on my door asking if we could work out.

To be honest, my first inclination was to put it off. Like I said, deadlines. But then I reasoned the work would still be there in an hour, while Jayme might have moved on to something else by then.  So I put on my work out clothes and followed her across the gravel road, where all of her brothers and sisters were playing in the barn, under my sister’s supervision.

That barn was the most amazing gym I’ve ever seen.

This gym doesn't have a monthly fee

This gym doesn’t have a monthly fee

We strung a towel up over one of the rafters to use for hookshot pull-ups. We found a big pipe to use for “item find” clean and presses. We had our choice of heavy objects for the iron boots farmer carries: hay bales, logs, little kids. My sister and some of her older kids joined in, and before long, the workout felt like a game, everyone running from circuit to circuit. My six-year-old nephew had a blast timing our 30-second farmer carries and yelling, “STOP!” at the top of his lungs. While waiting for my turn, I did overhead baby presses with my little niece, chatted with my sister, and cheered my other nieces and nephew through their workout. Half an hour later, I was sweaty, covered with hay, and grinning from ear to ear.

The overhead baby press

The overhead baby press

Fitness on the Farm
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