Ever since I first heard this term, I've been a convert. By seeing our own immediate outdoor space from a different angle, I've been given a different perspective on how I go about my work outside, growing food for my family. I frequently see harassed looking mothers racing around first thing in the morning, clad in skin hugging synthetics and barking at their kids to "get in the car" so they can get to the conventional gym in time for their 40 minute workout. I sometimes wonder to myself, would they be happier and just as fit if they spent an hour or so working in The Green Gym a few times a week instead?
However please, indulge my daydream and hear me out on the benefits of a different kind of gym..
Why take up membership at The Green Gym?
- It's FREE! No membership fees are required!
- Zero travel involved, if you happen to be working out in your own backyard.
- No one can see those lumps and bumps wobble and shake as you groove to the beat of your own rhythm, unless you want them too, that is. Working near the fence-line is fine if this is your thing, or be like Costa, and head out onto the verge. Skin hugging synthetics are completely optional.
- You have more than the results on your body to show for it when you're done - harvesting food to replace calories lost? Sounds like a plan! (The body results are great too..toned torso, thighs and buttocks? Yes please! Put me down for another visit. Muscular arms? Oh, yeah..)
- Stuff gets DONE! If you've just started food gardening, you may have noticed the 'to do' list for outside seems to constantly increase in size (a bizarre phenomenon, I know). By working out regularly in the green gym, stuff slowly but surely gets checked off that ever expanding list.
- Spouses or partners are welcome too, (for no additional fee!)..tandem workouts? I'm there. Plus there may just be a load of firewood chopped and stacked for you when your're done. ;)
- The green gym builds community. This past weekend we had an epic 5 hour working bee with our neighbour to remove some of his invading branches from our backyard and veggie garden. Apart from being able to see a funny blue thing high above again, it was a great way to catch up on his news and vice-versa. A cold beer and some nibbles at the end of the day didn't go astray, either. (Cold beers after such lengthy workouts are absolutely fine, in fact, sometimes even a necessity).
- A little workout each day, or every other day will see you with a vegetable garden brimming with produce, you'll be saving yourself a trip to the supermarket in addition to the conventional gym, plus those membership fees. Did I mention those?
- Eating all of that organically grown produce will fuel your next workout and just think of the food miles you'll be saving. Eat your heart out, supermarket chains!
- Do you really need a #10 to add to the list? Alright then.. let's see. Working out in the green gym and bringing home the produce will set a fine example for your life partner, growing young ones and/or extended family/friends/community. The kitchen table groaning under the meals made with said harvests will be like no other you've ever experienced. It really will bring the family together. Like glue.
So tell me, do you workout in a Green Gym? Do you have a 'training partner'? How often do you manage to get there? What's your favourite 'exercise'? ...and the big one - Would you consider swapping over from a conventional gym?