It must be the light.
The days are longer. Brighter, clearer spring sunshine has driven away winter’s soft pale light. The hens waddle and scratch farther from their coop. The cats have already left the barn when I fill their food dishes in the morning.
The urge to get out there seems universal.
While the sun lures me to the field, the rains hold me back. Almost four inches of rain over two weeks have saturated the soil. I can hear water gurgle under the low ground. I’m confined to staying around the barn and in the shop. It’s like crunching in the starting block for too long on the track.
I’ve started spring training instead.
It’s probably better than jumping into the work. At 42, I feel like my body and my ’96 Tacoma are at the same stage in life —still capable as ever, but requiring a lot more maintenance. My farming style keeps me fit, but only to a point. If my strength, flexibility, and stamina aren’t solid when it’s time to plant and build fence, I might hurt myself —like running a marathon without building up the the training mileage.
I’ve never been much of a weights guy, but I own a bunch of weights —old-style one-inch-hole plates that I use to ballast and balance the BCS. Since these Craigslist deals came with bars, I’ve started using them.
My "workouts" are short and minimally structured: Deadlifts. Carry 60 lb tractor weights in each hand for 200 feet. Turkish-Get-Ups for core work. Bang out sets of pull-ups and push-ups within the workout or randomly. Workouts only last 20 minutes, two or three times a week. No gym membership. No commute. After just a couple weeks, I feel stronger for not much time invested.
The dirt gym (my barn doesn’t have concrete floors) has been a great outlet for all my coiled spring energy. When it’s time to heft a shoulder load of T-posts, lay wire from a 44-lb spool, carry two 50-lb feed bags across the pasture, or drag a hog shelter, I’ll be ready.
I can’t wait.
Former Marine Infantry Officer. Iraq Vet. Interested in Regenerative Agriculture at any scale.
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