The Maul


Behold, the maul. No, not the Mall – the Maul. The maul is the sledgehammer’s older 6’5″, 250# linebacker on steroids brother. I had to use the maul last week because I made an, “ahem”, miscalculation when I was repairing a building. Ok, several miscalculations.

I have about 35 chickens, which live in a coop that used to be an old garage. When I say old, I mean old, like circa 1940’s old. Anyway, between housing chickens and cars it also housed pigs. Pigs are totally evil animals, trust me on that one. They tore the sliding doors off the front of the building, pushed the walls out a bit, and actually tore the cement floor partially out. I have no idea how a pig tears up a cement floor when its only tool is its little pink snout, but they did. Pigs are fascists. Remember Animal Farm? Fascists.

So, one end of my chicken house has no wall. A few years ago when I moved the chicks in we slapped up a hastily cobbled together mishmash of 2×4’s and old plywood that was less than ideal. I’ve always wanted to put up a proper wall with windows and an extra door, so when I had a bit of spare time last week I rounded up some supplies and set to work. 

According to my calculations it was 86 inches from the top of the remaining wall to the ground. Long story short, my wall ended up being just short of 90″ due to math errors and the fact that I wanted to dig it into the ground a bit to discourage predators from digging under it. Well, that would have been fine and dandy, except I didn’t realize that two inches under the dirt was a layer of solid rock and cement. Guess the fascist pigs missed that section. Thanks a lot.

So, I had two options: take my framed up wall apart and shorten it, or dig the rocks out. 

I chose to dig. And dig. And gouge. And hammer. The cement was not a problem, it was old and rotten and crumbled under the shovel pretty easily. My dear old Grandpa, however, had decided to sink a bunch of giant rocks into the cement. Hitting them with the shovel didn’t even make a scratch so I lugged the maul over and started whacking. 

I whacked for about three hours. At about hour two the handle of the maul snapped in half. Great. So for the last two hours I whacked giant rocks with a maul that sported a jagged spike-like handle that bounced inches from my body every time I swung it. 

Did I mention I’m not all that bright?

Finally, FINALLY, I broke up enough rock to get the new wall wedged into place and I went and laid down for a long, long time.

So, the moral of this story is: measure twice, cut once and check for giant rocks.

Today’s workout:


  • Warm up with some DLs at lighter weight
  • Set 1: 5 reps @ 148#
  • Set 2: 90% of Set 1, 5 reps (133#)


  • Warm up with some presses at lighter weight
  • Set 1: 5 reps @ 55#
  • Set 2: 90% of Set 1, 5 reps (50#)

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