Garage Strength - Oct 25

October 25, 2011. ~8:30am

I was knocked out last night. Mom and I were late coming home from her Vitamin C treatment (I ended up on the NE extension of the turnpike by accident, not realizing it until we got to Quakertown). So I got to the gym around 5pm. By then, a lot of the high school athletes were there. Jason Coon was having a lousy day on the squat rack – he was doing jump-squats and dropped the bar – loaded with 225 lbs – and just about put a hole in the floor. Dane lectured him on staying in control. Jason went outside in the dark and in the dew and chucked sticks around the yard by the throwing circle, talking to himself all the while.

Meanwhile I had a leg day. The cool thing about Dane’s routine is that I was warming up with what I normally would consider my workout – a few rounds of front squats and overhead squats with the bar, plus split squats. I started warming up for snatch with 25s on the bar, gradually moving up to 35s and I think getting about 120 or 130 for three or four reps, which is okay considering I have not done that move in years.

Power cleans went better, and I maxed out at 175, more than my bodyweight, so a success in my mind. I felt good last night. I squatted as well, managing 225 for five before failing after one rep at 235. Again, it has been about five years since I did anything with that much weight on it, so not bad. The ‘warm down’ – again, what I would have considered a workout on its own – was kettlebell swings with the 80 pounder (mine is only 36), followed by pistol squats (one-leg, butt to the floor, no weight), and jumping lunges. Four sets of this just about did me in. My calf was shaking on the drive home trying to depress the clutch when I shifted gears.

We ate the chicken soup I started making at Kate’s on Sunday. After picking the bones clean for dinner with Kevin and Kate on Friday night, I slow-cooked the bones in a crockpot for twelve hours or so. The next morning the rest of the meat fell off the bones into the soup, and I brought it home. It congealed into what Dane calls ‘chicken gelatin’ overnight in the fridge, and to get mom eating more I packed it full of rice, beans, carrots, spinach, half a stick of butter and some flour to thicken it. She managed to get down an entire bowl last night (plus half an avocado). The soup was excellent.

I do not think I was fully recovered this morning. I went over at 8:30 for a cardio routine. I am playing golf tomorrow and do not want to be sore from lifting heavy (though I fear my legs will be anyway from yesterday, but that is manageable on the golf course. Sore arms less so). Dane had me doing circuits of kettlebell snatches with the 50 pounder (heavier than I have ever done), rope climb, pushups, the walrus (walking across the floor on one’s hands, feet propped up on a wheeled block of wood, in a pushup position), more pushups, box jumps, jumping lunges and pulling the prowler. I could not recover between sets for some reason, and had a headache all morning. My heart rate was through the roof and took far longer to come down than usual. I only did two circuits and left after collecting my computer (I was recording the ambient sound of the gym to play in the background during some of the interviews).

Dane’s sister Kai (sp?) was there today working out. I have a time set tomorrow to chat with her about the farm and how her and Brant have helped out get the farm under way. She told me her five-year-old daughter works out once a week in the barn. “She has lats,” Kai said.

I also chatted with another woman (name?) with breast cancer. She was interested in mom’s Vitamin C treatment, and attributes her quick recovery from surgery to Dane’s diet and exercise program she had been on. She is back in the gym, seemingly healthy, and starts chemo shortly.

Both Dane and Dan were sporting new haircuts last night. Dane declared it is his last shave of the summer – he will let his beard rip from now on through the winter.

I left the gym this morning with another chicken (Dane claims the broth should get my mom some of her strength back, even if it is the only thing she can get down), plus some mint chocolate he let me try, which is amazing. I brought a dozen eggs home last night, which I ate for brekky this morning. I still have about half a gallon of raw milk (in the midst of Kate’s party on Saturday, seven beers deep, I started offering people gulps of the stuff out of the jug. I think her friends thought I was a little off. I also made myself an Ezekiel English muffin which likely contributed to their opinions of me).

Questions for Kai:
  1. Whose idea was it to buy the farm?
  2. What do you think of Brant mowing with your 18-month-old on his back?
  3. How do you guys split the financing?
  4. How much influence did Brooks have on this?
  5. Tell me what you know about Brooks deal?
  6. Who is Dane’s biggest influence? Brooks?
  7. How close are the three of you to each other and your parents? How does that contribute to the success of you guys as a family?
  8. How do you think Dane and Caitlin will raise Lincoln?
  9. How often do you workout in the barn?
  10. Do you and Brant have your own responsibilities beyond the farmhouse?
  11. Tell me about the history of the farm and the house.
  12. What do you do for a living? Brant? How do you guys reconcile that with the lifestyle your brothers are living?
  13. How much influence does Joel Salatin have on Dane and/or Brooks?
  14. I heard Brooks is presenting Food Inc. at the National Archives? Are you going?