Many people don’t understand my passion for running. It’s a foreign concept that conjures feelings of pain, discomfort and agony in their minds. They cannot find the appeal in lacing up a pair of sneakers and hitting the dirt road, heading east into the sunrise.
I get the same question and looks of confusion when I talk about our work with our cattle and crops through the summer heat. Why, most people ask, would you want to spend your days in triple-digit temperatures, waiting for rain that never comes and watching your fields and pastures shrivel under the relentless sun? For the same reason I wake up before the sun to hit the road, it’s my passion and my way of life.
Our farm has battled the drought and excessive heat for two years now. We pray for rain daily and go on about our chores watching the clouds head the other direction. This summer has tested our patients, our will power and our desire to continue our work and way of life. But like my morning running routine, we continue to lace up our shoes, hit the dirt road and head into the sunrise to check on the cattle and ensure their daily care.
Nothing worth having comes easy in this world. There are no free lunch and no givens. If running was easy, America wouldn’t be watching its waistline expand. If farming was as simple as punching the clock and closing shop at 5 p.m., everyone would have 40 acres and a cow herd. Both take determination, will power and a desire to set aside the discomfort in hopes of crossing the finish line or seeing one more mother deliver her new calf. We take pride in our cattle and do all we can to ensure they have comfortable environments, appropriate feed sources and unlimited access to water. Meeting those needs has been substantially more challenging this year but we’ve met that challenge head on and consequently maintained a healthy and productive cow herd that will be around when the rain does come our way.
Running is more than a hobby, it’s a passion and farming and ranching are more than just a job, they are a lifestyle. Both take work but the sweat and tears are dually rewarded in the end.