I recently began working out again. This has been part of a long love/hate, on again, off again relationship with exercise. While no one would ever mistake me as a gym rat, I do try to something at least a couple times a week. I keep it short and simple, because I can convince myself that it’ll be over soon and I’m less likely to skip the process. Right now I do a quick jog on the treadmill followed by a few minutes of steep incline to work the glutes (and try to stop the inevitable middle age migration of my ass around to my abdomen). I usually do a bit of work with weights, not a lot, but just enough to remind the muscles that they are alive and that I may need them at some point. My self imposed torture isn’t some sick sort of fun, nor is it for vanity, I see it as part of responsible farming. Granted, I’ll admit this theory is NOT considered ‘normal’ by any other farmer I’ve met. In fact most look at me like I’m nuts when I broach the subject with them (Thank God I’m used to being considered ‘not normal’ and the looks don’t even cause me to bat an eyelash).

Farming is often depicted as having a very physically demanding lifestyle…..and it is. But it’s not a traditional or comprehensive workout. I’ve found that there is a lot of constant low level movement punctuated by surprising movements of  heart stopping sheer physical torture that leaves you gasping for to try to catch your breath. If you aren’t ready for those moments it can be disaster to a small farmer.

If you have a small farm or homestead your animals, projects and customers reply on you. In our case, we have no employees and it’s just Hubs and I.If one of us were to become sick or injured the entire care of the farm would fall on the other one’s shoulders. That’s a scary thought! Or what about if you don’t have a partner in farming…..if you were to get injured what would happen to your farm? My first year of farming I got tennis elbow, dislocated a rib, tore something or other in my ‘good’ knee and hurt my shoulder. It’s that kind of sick realization that drags me back to the gym to help ensure that I am doing everything I can to stay healthy. Yes, it can be a struggle to make myself work out in the dead of winter, during couch cuddling weather, or during the mad rush of spring’s birthing and planting season, or during the heat of summer or the craziness of fall’s breeding and harvest……..okay so basically it’s a struggle all year long. However, I can’t afford to take the risk of a serious injury and losing my farming dream and so I find a little time for some self imposed torture . After all it’s  for a good cause.

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