life is a gym for head, hand and heart.

It seems to me that the life many people aspire to at the moment involves spending the working day in important meetings or at a computer or doing similar cerebral work, then in the morning or evening jogging or pumping iron at the gym to get that perfect body.

These gyms seem bizarre places to me, I have walked past them in London full of folk pounding away like so many hamsters on wheels. The bizarre thing is that all those machines are consuming electricity, I’d like to see a gym that generated electricity or better see those folk out carrying shopping for old ladies or some  other useful physical activity. Besides that I struggle with the idea of pounding away just to get the current trendy body shape. I think far better to live a balanced life that involves a mix of cerebral and physical activity. At the moment I am converting my ex village police station into a holiday cottage, there is a lot of hard labouring work which a hard nosed business annalist would say I should pay a labourer £50 a day to do whilst I got on with more lucrative work. I earn an average of £80 a day so I can’t argue with the economics but there is something more important than economics to me. By doing the labouring myself I get a feeling of empowerment, and also a good workout which would cost my cerebral friends a hefty gym fee. Here I am starting to demolish the old wall separating the old garage from the police station office, I reckon you could charge for this it was such fun.
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Why is it that doing this stuff as part of the working day is looked down upon whilst paying to sweat in the gym is viewed as a good thing? This is all part of my philosophy of living a balanced life with work involving hand, head and heart. Past posts on the subject here or see more posts in similar vein by  clicking the philosophy link to the right.

8 Responses to life is a gym for head, hand and heart.

  1. Gorges Smythe December 11, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    I think, Robin, that people go to gyms for the same reason that they feel the need to wear the right brand of clothes – marketing executives have convinced them that such things are a necessity. You've got the right attitude; carry on, mate.

  2. George December 12, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    Ha, ha – the Gym I used to go to actually has a special machine that simulates the swinging of a hammer/axe!!

  3. Robin Wood December 12, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    excellent, any one that wants to pay £20 a week for a good workout I have a big pile of logs that need splitting, it's great fun too.

  4. Alviti December 12, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    Nothing beats going to bed tired from a hard days work and falling to sleep within seconds.

  5. Rob Gorrell December 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    I agree with you. I know people that drive to a track to run, run, then drive home. Wierd.I am converting my shop to primarily hand tools and really need and enjoy the physical activity after a day of mind numbing day job work. Like many have said before, there is just something theraputic about a sharp blade swishing through wood that heals the soul.

  6. mrcharly January 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    For people who do office jobs, like myself, it's simply not possible to find the time to 'build in' house rebuilding etc to keep fit. I leave home about 7am and return 7pm, then have kids to cook, clean etc. Mind you, I do build in exercise to life by cycling 25miles to work.

  7. toctomerius February 15, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    Verry interesting, and thrue. When I was teenager I was verry interested in sport and gym. My reason was healthy. Meanwhile purpose remains the same but proceeding changed. These after some years I work in a office, and I realized how bad is for body to use only one facet. Meanwhile I started a building in the countryside, and I can say that last summer I had the best physical condition ever. And my mind is more briliant 🙂 Romans were right when they said MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO. And if you can realized this making something usefull is wonderfull.You need more help 🙂 ?

  8. Graeme December 1, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    Menial labour is just hard work! When you have to keep going because you’re fired if you don’t, even though you’re knackered, there’s no pleasure in that. Let machines do it, just don’t forget where it started from and don’t undervalue the guy on the ride on mower or whatever.

    But that is an aside, below is a website by an architect in support of the human-house, the owner-built house and how important it is that people build their own homes. It’s in part about that sense of ’empowerment’ in doing it yourself it’s also the stories that become part of the fabric of the home. Tony has spent decades fighting the Auckland City Council and the NZ Govt. over the shift from houses as homes to houses as investment, it’s as much about philosophy as houses, see what you think.