Over the Fence Urban Farm

Cooperatively farming small patches of Earth in Columbus, OH


Farming. My Misogi?

“We’ve evolved with a desire to challenge ourselves…How can you reach the edge of your potential without risking failure?”

Marcus Elliott
(Harvard-trained sports scientist who enjoys all-night jogs)


I came across this quotation at the gym the other day in Outside. It was part of an article about Atlanta Hawks’ 3-point shooter Kyle Korver and his friends’ annual misogi events. Misogi is an ancient Japanese concept with many interpretations. They all suggest some form of personal challenge that leaves the practitioner cleansed and refocused. This year Korver and his gang completed an underwater 5K relay carrying 60+ ad 80+lb rocks. (Insane, I know. Read the article for all the details.) I’m not sure how Japanese adherents to the more customary interpretations would feel about this, but that’s a topic for another blogger.

I’m an exercise addict, but I’m only physically competitive with myself. This seems to underline lots of Outside content. As I was reading about Korver, etal’s endeavors, I found my mind wandering to the farm. This time a year ago, I was planning for Over the Fence for the first time. I really had no idea what I was in for, but I approached my tasks with discipline and intention. By the end of the season I was so proud of what I had accomplished, including leading a group of folks to help me ensure that all these things got done!

Another of Korver’s mates said of completing a misogi “It’s this W—a win—you have in your back pocket. That can translate to somewhere else. You can say: ‘I have no idea what I’m doing now, but I know I did this crazy thing over here.’ ”

This has been an incredibly challenging year for our family in many, many ways. I’m sure that the success I found on the farm gave me energy to address responsibilities in other areas of my life. Perhaps it’s time to formalize my Spring 2015 goal of spreading our compost in a single day. Let’s make that the Over the Fence misogi. Rain or shine? It’s compost time! (Well, probably not in the rain, but you get my meaning.) Let’s do this.

(Date TBA).