Thursday, April 9, 2009

Strong Men!

Iranian men exercise using carved blocks of wood, called a mil, in a Zurkhaneh "House of Strength" in Karaj 45 km west of Tehran August 20, 2007. Reuters Pictures

Recently Tae Woong and I visited an Iranian family who came to America many years ago and who are now among my dearest of friends. Esmaeil had just finished making himself a pair of 'mils' out of some scrap wood that was leftover from a building project he'd completed for one of his neighbors. Here is a close-up showing the layers of wood he glued together to form a mil. (Esmaeil is the most ingenious man I've ever met. I am always amazed at what he creates out of discards!)<
Mils are not lightweight by any definition--one mil can weigh anywhere from 20 lbs and up! Notice the mils are resting on my shoulders. I could not lift them. I'm a real weakling!

But Tae Woong has got some impressive muscles!

Now here's Esmaeil showing us the correct way to exercise with these mils! When he's at his prime, he can do 1,000 revolutions with a pair of mils. I took a video of Esmaeil in action, but unfortunately I can't get it to load to the blog, so this picture will have to do for now.

Not only is Esmaeil strong, but he's also one of the nicest men I've met! And his wife cooks Persian food to die for--my favorite is ghormeh sabzi--but that will have to be a future post!

In the meantime I'd better start exercising my flabby, wimpish arms!


Homestay Mama

Don't forget--my first giveaway next week--April 15th. If you haven't already done so, go here and leave me a comment.


  1. Well, my Bingo Wings would shudder to see these! lol VERY interesting post, HM! I've never heard of anything like this.

  2. LOL I'll continue to exercise my arms by typing on the computer!

    Thanks for dropping by.

  3. Those things look deadly. I know that I would end up hitting myself in the head, with them!

    Our taxes are done...Hurraah!!!!!

  4. Hey, those would be a much better option than a rubber spatula, wouldn't they??
    And voila! No more bingo wings!