Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Katherine & Grommet (and Google)
I went to an aerobics class last week for the first time in … 24 years.  Why the change of heart, you may ask? Feelings of guilt and unattractiveness.  

Guilt because I did the math on my gym membership and it turns out that every time I get on that elliptical machine for 30 minutes (roughly once a month) it costs me approximately $74 (or $2.47/minute).  Unattractiveness because … I haven’t seriously been to the gym in a long time.  I’m not getting any younger, you know.  That is NOT my butt down there.
So I met with a trainer at the gym who set me up with a routine on the machines and then talked me into coming to her class.  “It’s not for beginners, but you are strong!” she assured me.  “Besides, there are little old ladies in the class. You’ll be fine!”
This is Sooo Not My Butt
Twenty minutes into the class, as I was lying on the floor with free weights plopped on my chest and a rubber band velcroed to my ankles, I realized that maybe there’s a reason I haven’t been to an aerobics class for over two decades.  This experience certainly did not help my feelings of guilt and unattractiveness.  In fact, it made them worse.
I felt even guiltier because if I had actually gone to some exercise classes for, lo, those many years, I would not be lying like an asthmatic starfish on the floor.  And that pose certainly did not boost my sense of attractiveness.  All those fit young women in the room, even the fit OLD women, were bouncing up and down, whooping and “feeling the burn.”
In a prescient act of brilliance, I had scheduled a two-hour deep-tissue massage for the same day.  The masseuse kneaded out the knots and unkinked my poor hamstrings.  More guilt: besides a portion of my gym membership, that one aerobics class now cost me the price of a massage!
Then I had an epiphany: I already do all of these exercises on the goat farm.  Maybe it was an endorphin-infused delusion?  Why did I just spend four hours (1 hour in class, 1 hour driving, 2 hour massage) indulging my body image issues?


Row Pull
 Face Pull
Chest Press
First, lets take the “Standing Cable Chest Press,” the “Face Pull,” and “Pulley Row.”  On The Goat Farm, I call this the “Animal Drag.”
Like the exercises in my aerobics class, this exercise can be “modified” to accommodate the beginner, intermediate and advanced participants.   The amount of work depends on the animal being dragged, and the “resistance” it exhibits. 
Katherine & Grommet (and Google)
Advanced goat herders can push their muscles to their limits dragging a donkey.  Intermediates can build their strength with non-compliant Livestock Guardian Dogs. And, for the novice, a stubborn goat is sufficient challenge.

Bobbie & Caboose

Bobbie & Caboose

Cash & Callie



Farmer's Carry
Farmer Carry
"This works, but PETA will have a fit."

One site called this exercise “primitive.”  I guess they don’t live on a farm and carry water buckets, now do they? Kudos to that guy with the pigs. I’d like to see it done with goats … any takers?!
Here on The Goat Farm  we have all sizes of bucket, and we pull them all out for the various goat shows.  The sloshing water adds an additional level of “resistance,” too.

One of the kids’ least favorite set-up chores at the goat show is “filling the water buckets.”  It’s not the filling that’s a problem.
If I thought that my back would look like that girl on the left, I’d be toting every bucket we own around the entire county.  

Tallulah, Elizabeth, Katherine -- and Wego

Bear Crawl (www.shape.com)

This exercise was also described as “primitive.”  I call it just plain common sense.  It comes with instructions--for anyone who didn’t go to kindergarten:
“Immediately crawl forward with right hand and right foot. Keep abs drawn in tight during the entire movement. If you run out of room, simply travel as far forward as possible and then crawl backward. Continue the movement for 45 seconds.”

Cash (and Lily)
On The Goat Farm we do this exercise in one of two ways: pulling the cat out from under the trailer or extracting a wayward baby goat from under the barn.  And, yes, “if you run out of room, simply travel as far forward as possible and then crawl backward” – hopefully with the pesky animal in one arm (see, that’s even harder!).  And with muck boots! It may take longer than 45 seconds, too.
Tallulah, Cash, Elizabeth, Katherine (and Google)


Partner Push Up-Squat
Clever, clever.  Maybe if I had to lower a child into a well to pull out a trapped animal... Otherwise, we have a tool for this movement: a wheelbarrow.  The level of resistance depends on the terrain and what you put into the wheelbarrow...literally.  We experienced great resistance when we did this photo shoot.
At the difficult end, try pushing a Boer Goat around in your wheelbarrow.  Too much? A pygmy goat will do.  Still too heavy? A baby pygmy goat in a stroller.  Everything is modifiable, of course.
Katherine & Blaze (and Google)

Robbie & Marky Mark

Tallulah & Wego (Wego is perfectly fine in this picture - chill-laxing )


360 Squat
This lady had instructions for her special squat called the “360 Squat.”  Basically you turn 90 degrees every time you spring into the air.  Switch directions.
Then there’s “Lonnie” doing “Baby Goat Squats” with his goat, Priscilla.  Poor Priscilla.  She struggles so much that he has to “modify” his exercise to hold her in front instead of over his shoulders.

We do squats all the time to move stuff—goats, grain, etc.  In fact, I recently had to perform this exercise in the middle of the goat show ring to remove our stubborn goat who absolutely would not walk or even stand on four legs.

But we haven’t tried hopping and turning yet.  (That would look really silly.)  I tried to get Katherine to hop with Marky Mark when we were shooting the picture, but she firmly said, “NO.”  Then I asked her to put Marky Mark over her shoulders, like Lonnie there.  But sadly Pygmy goats are simply too short in the back to wrap around your neck like a scarf.  Marky Mark got lucky on this one.
Katherine & Marky Mark


“Start with the tire flat on the ground. Place your fingers under the tire while it is in this position. Your hands and feet should be shoulder-width apart. Squat down deep, bending at the knees. As you return to a standing position, pull the tire up. Make sure to use your whole body—especially your legs—to avoid lifting solely with your back. The momentum you create should allow you to change your hand position from a pull to a push. Push the tire forward. Once it is flat, repeat the process.

Benefit: Tire flips cover all the bases—your core, back, legs, arms, and shoulders. Just be careful when you bend to pick the tire up. Leave your ego at home! If you need a lighter tire, make the switch. You can risk serious injury if you are bending at the hips and using your back instead of bending at the knees and using your full body and engaged core to lift and push.”
Katherine, Maury & Addie

The writer devotes quite a bit of space explaining where to buy the equipment. Apparently, this person spent a lot of time and money (up to $100) buying that smelly old truck tire.  

All they needed was an $18.75 bale of alfalfa.  Or, if they want a lighter object, an $8 bale of rice straw or a medium-sized rock.
But I, for one, am excited to read about all the muscle groups that this exercise works on – core, back, legs, arms, shoulders.  Maybe I should go out and feed more often?


Now I'm pondering why I beat myself up about going to the gym??  My daily life is a workout for all the major muscle groups. 
I have two teenage girls (18 and 16) and another one coming up fast (12).  We spend a lot of time at the dinner table talking about body image and how everybody has a different, unique shape and size AND THAT IS OK.
I should listen to my own advice.  Going to the exercise class bruised my middle-aged ego AND left me too sore to move for 2 days.  If I had stayed home and fed the goats, I would’ve gotten the same workout and I wouldn’t cringie while hobbling up the steps. 
AND my ego would have been boosted, ‘cause even my butt is sexier than the goat butt that I would be chasing around the field. 

I should give myself more credit sometimes.

Desert Suns La Bella (her butt is pretty cute, though)


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