Niche Gym Idea

Bread made last night, served with some olive oil and honey butter

To my surprise, there are a lot of videos out there on YouTube of big, strong folks talking about the difference between a regime of manual labor (think chopping wood, digging holes, breaking rocks) versus a conventional workout routine at a gymnasium (dumbbell curls, bench press, squats). Here is an example . The speaker, Johnny, talks about the fact that human ancestors lived a much more manual and physical life 100 years or further back. Spending one hour a day or less on physical exertion of any kind is a far cry from these past times of human existence. Inasmuch, I was wondering if someone like myself who does a lot of desk work, computer work, etc. could make the time to get some form of manual labor into my week. One example is kneading dough, which I did a bit of last night when I made some focaccia bread. However, making dough is not that hard compared to other manual labor. It was fun and tasty though. 

My brain wandered onto the idea of a niche gym in which, instead of conventional gym equipment, there was an array of tools and materials setup for individuals to engage in bouts of manual labor for the sake of it. Now, I fully acknowledge how silly this image is. Having someone give money to a company to let them do manual labor is sort of crazy; especially in the context of how little prisoners are paid to fight fires in California ( :-( ). However, I think this could catch on in heavily urbanized areas (think LA, NYC, SF, Boston, etc.). In those locations, there's a plentiful supply of desk jockeys who are interested in new experiences that also benefit them physically. I'm certain some band of yuppies would shell out cold hard cash to churn butter or carry goats around for an hour each week. In fact, if the so-called 'manual labor gym' was able to sell the products of the labor (i.e. butter, gravel, chopped wood) to the general public as 'artisanal products', I think this whole concept could really take off; as funny as it all sounds. On the high level, if this niche gym idea became an actual thing, it would say a lot about the problematic valuations that our society has placed on various manual labor professions like garbage collectors and farmers (high manual labor jobs that often pay near poverty wages). Maybe after COVID I'll try and get a loan to get this gym idea off the ground. (lol)

Month of Self Care

Some latkes I made this morning for brunch

The beginning of 2021 was a mediocre time. I was worried about things and people and at times found myself going through the motions without my long term hopes and dreams. COVID sucks as we all know too well. I believe this contributed to my dismay. Now, a month and a half into the year, I find myself feeling much better and much more myself. I have begun attempts at meditation following a good book that brought it up. I have been a bit better at keeping an exercise regime. And I have been cooking nicer meals for myself while getting all those important, pesky food groups in my diet (like veggies). In total, I recognized a lack of self care and responded to this issue.

Today is Valentine's day. A holiday centered on the subject of relationships. Tomorrow, my girlfriend Ally is coming back to Boston. Her senior spring semester is starting on Tuesday. I am looking forward to having her around to share some of this food I've been cooking. Maybe we'll go on some trips that don't involve being close enough to strangers who may or may not have COVID.

In my past, I didn't really have 'self care'. I feel that I was always pushing myself into some new endeavor. I was a brainiac child that was lucky enough to not have to study that hard to 'succeed'.  Now, with the pressures of being a full on adult, I am personally responsible to the fullest on whether I am 'burning out' or not. In retrospection, I got really burnt out at the end of my senior spring. The meditations attempts have been giving me crucial time to self-reflect and take a few deep breaths. The world is a messy, flailing place but I do have control over a few things. I am going to focus on what I have control over.

In Tennessee Now

  On Sunday, I drove down to Tennessee from Lansing, MI. I drove to Oak Ridge, TN, through the fields of Ohio and the hills of Kentucky. I p...