I feel the chill in the air this week, watch the leaves starting to turn, and suddenly everyone starts to talk about skiing/snowboarding. We can’t help ourselves – powder is just too addictive. Here at our homestead, Holy Terror Farm, we can ski and bike out our door AND still manage to grow and raise almost 100% of our own food.
At first I was worried that I wouldn’t be “training” as hard here in Paonia as I was living in Crested Butte. Little did I know how hard farming was! We joke daily about starting a new fitness trend – “CROP-fit” – hauling water+food+animals (weights), weeding (yoga), herding dogs/animals (cardio)… bla bla bla. Farming like Little House on the Prarie involves ever muscle in the body, in a fantabulously comprehensive way. Ever tried lifting a 400 pound pumpkin?
Right now, we are harvesting about 2000 pounds of winter squashes:
I pick about 100 pounds of tomatoes a day, seed and core them, solar-cook them down to paste and then preserve them (canning):
For winter preservation of zillions of peppers, I ferment them, dry them, or roast them:
Last week, our Scottish Highland cows met their maker and are now in the freezer, along with their much coveted fat which we use everyday – for cooking, chicken/dog feed, candles and soaps:
I’ve learned first hand how our ancestors kept fit – and it didn’t involve a gym or a gimmick. It was called survival/life. Incredibly, when I ski, bike or surf, I find myself even more balancedly fit than when I was “training”. But asked what my favorite quick way to get in shape for ski season, I will always resort to running in the mountains – preferably bounding downhill with a loaded pack (Osprey Packs of course!). That simulates those muscles that contract when you are riding your board/boards and the extra weight make those muscles respond more vigorously. You will know that you have achieved your plyometric training when you find it difficult to sit down or go down stairs. Voila – your first days of skiing/boarding will be a piece of cake now.