No Gym or TV Necessary

Back in Virginia, Craig and I were gym rats. We went to the gym at least 3 times a week. Cardio, weights and all the other machines designed to keep us fit. On the off nights, we enjoyed evenings of television. Lots of television.

Before we moved to the earthship in the middle of nowhere Arizona, we wondered about the gym. The nearest gym is about 35 miles away. It’s expensive and the time to get there and back plus the time to work out would take up the better part of a day or evening, at least 3 hours anyway. In bad weather it would be more. So, we thought working out at home would be the best thing. And then there would be the off nights. We knew the earthship would have minimal power, so we brought only the little 12 inch TV. We weren’t planning on getting satellite TV and there is no cable, so we just thought we would bring a DVD player and watch movies on the nights we weren’t working out in the home gym. We packed all of the weights, the stationary bike, the little TV and the DVD player into the moving truck and we were certain that we would stay fit and entertained.

Once here in Arizona, we unpacked the gym equipment and set it up temporarily on the concrete slab designed to be one of the greenhouses. That was in October. In spring, it would all be moved to the patio.

We continued to work on the house each day and on the adjustment to country living. We painted, cleaned, weeded, and made other repairs to our somewhat neglected earthship. Then there was the 20 acres. A lot of trash had blown across from other places and was caught in the trees. We had to hike around to pick it up.  I wanted an indoor garden, so we hauled in the dirt and planted it. Our belongings were in boxes in the shed, so we had a lot of unpacking to do.

By the first week of November, we realized that we weren’t ready for winter. That meant getting firewood, stacking and covering it. We started using the woodstoves. That meant bringing wood inside frequently. We have high winds out here and the tumbleweeds roll in and get stuck everywhere. In the patio, under the cars, behind the buildings, even on the roof in the solar panels. We spend a lot of time freeing them to continue their journey across the fields. Because we are living a more natural life, we got a hand crank food mill and began grinding, chopping, and flaking everything ourselves. The ice cream maker and ravioli machine also only require human power. I enjoy cooking with cast iron and often use my large Dutch oven outside. We have been lifting, chopping, dragging, pushing, pulling, cranking and hiking since the day we got here.

We haven’t forgotten our gym equipment. I dry laundry on it when the weather is bad. My kitchen garden is bigger than expected so some of the plants have migrated to the “gym”. Our dog uses the weight bench when he’s barking at the window. Are we in shape? Of course we are. Better than ever. Embarrassed? That too. We just hauled over 300 lbs. of useless junk clear across the US.

My next endeavor will be figuring out how to use all of it for something else out here. I’ve already figured that I can use the weights to hold down the firewood tarps in the wind. I saw a book on human powered tools once. I’ll get that and work on something for the stationary bike. The weight bench would work well for some of my smaller seedlings. It may not have been foolish after all!

In the evenings, we read, learn new things about where we live, cook, make small repairs and enjoy our fire. If it’s warm enough we go out and look at the stars. The sky is very dark here.

Oh yes, about the TV. I don’t think it ever got unpacked. I doubt it ever will.

7 thoughts on “No Gym or TV Necessary

  1. A friend of mine here in Ireland has just recently finished a project turning an unused bicycle into a power generator, he used the alternator design from a Hugh Piggott home made wind turbine design.
    When he gets some land of his own he can make blades and change the frame and have a wind turbine – clever isn’t it?
    – this is his blog – http://turbike.org/

  2. Thanks for the link. It is an interesting blog. Lehmans also carries a book called “The Human Powered Home” by Tamara Dean. It is on my summer reading list after I plant the outdoor garden.
    G.

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  4. The Peddler’s Wagon, operated through pathtofreedom.com sells a system for operating a blender by peddle power. You just connect it to your stationary bike. Great exercise while blending your food. =)

  5. So I ordered the book “how to live without electricity and like it” from you and loved it…great book..but in it, it suggest trying to find a mother earth magazine from the 80’s becus it had instructions how to make your own pedal electric maker thing…the magazine came yesterday, in a plastic protector…great condition…such great condition, that I was afraid to take it out of the package to read it…. I wish Lehmans could figure out a way to sell instructions how to make some of these things…. like the pedalthing,

  6. “The Human Powered Home” is an interesting book. The above comments also provide some links to pedal powered appliances.
    Here in AZ, it’s been very hot, so I’m not pedaling very much right now.