So, let me introduce Saturday's workout machine: the Cub Cadet rototiller. This is not a small machine, and it's heavy enough that you won't move it if the engine isn't running. I borrowed this from Robin because my garden was beginning to look like a jungle, and the grass was overwhelming the plants that are supposed to provide the vegetables that are going to sustain me through the winter.
Now, running a rototiller in and of itself could be fairly easy (if you have a tiny little Mantis, one of my favorite tillers), but if your garden happens to be hard clay, with numerous rocks on and under the soil, and your tiller is one of the big boys, then it becomes workout central! Word of warning to would-be rototiller exercisers: even smallish rocks like the ones below can cause the rototiller to buck and jump like the broncs at the Wild West show. And when that happens, well, you're hanging on for dear life, which of course means you're hanging on to the little bar that keeps the tiller running. Double jeopardy: the longer you hang on the farther it pulls you--at an amazing rate of speed. So remember, if your tiller leaps and starts dragging you like a big shark on the end of a line, LET GO of the little safety bar! At least I didn't end up crushed between the fence and the tiller or worse, but wrestling it around the garden, never knowing when the next wild buck was coming, sure was a workout!
This is the edge of the garden:
And this is one of the tilled rows.
The rock in the picture above is maybe 5 inches long, but let the tiller go over it and you'll think you've struck a boulder the size of the glacier that took down the Titanic. It took me just over an hour to wrestle that beast around my garden. Thankfully, all of my limbs and digits are intact, but I can't say the same for all my plants!
But it was a good workout--my heart rate was up, I was sweating like, well, a pig, and I certainly managed to work my legs, my core, and my arms and shoulders. In fact, my trapezius muscles are still screaming their indignity today. After I finished with the tiller, I took the hoe between plants. I liken hoeing to working on a rowing machine, but a lot less fun. But it's done, and I did get some exercise, and maybe my plants will thrive and provide lots of bounty that I can put up for the leaner winter months. (For the eating healthier and simpler part of my diet/lifestyle plan.)
Oh, and I can look forward to doing this workout on a fairly regular basis, as Robin has kindly told me to hang on to the tiller for now (little does she know about the hanging on part!)....
So the moral of this story is that you can find a workout right at home; just be careful not to damage yourself in the process, because there won't be a hot Latin guy around to save your butt.