I just got done spending a few days helping The Rancher fence. Mostly by accident. Like, my kids took off trekking down the busy road to find their dad and I followed after in my sweats. And of course once I got there I got put to work. And boy was it work, actually more of a workout. I tease The Rancher from time to time that he had better get doing some exercises before he has to move his buckle down a notch. But in reality, his daily living is enough of a workout that he doesn’t need to exercise.
Well, I take that back. As an exervise science major I believe that everyone needs to exercise, everyday. But hanging out with a rancher provides enough core building, heart racing, strength training exercises that you won’t have to hit the gym at the end of the day.
For example, take the job of tamping- using a narrow, 15 pound bar to pound and pack the dirt around a fence post. And since nothing done on the ranch is slow, you do it fast, as fast as you can. You squeeze your core tight as it will go to stabilize your shoulders as they slowly begin to burn from lifting the bar over and over again.
Moving hand lines. In the days when I was a pipe mover I always considered it to be my morning exercise routine. Squatting with an extra 50+ pounds stretching out 15 feet off each side is a great for a little balance work, especially while the water is still running up and down the pipe.
Roping… oh boy roping… I’ve learned this last year what a great workout this is. Keeping your elbow, swinging at just the right rhythm and then still having the strength to throw is so much harder than what it looks. In fact, I have yet to even remotely come close to figuring this out… But I have gotten sore, super sore.
And then there are all of the sledge hammers. Big, little, tall, short- they all have one thing in common. They are all heavy. So heavy that you don’t slam them down as much as swing them up and then just let them fall on whatever it is you are hitting. While they are doing whatever damage you need, they are building some beautiful core, shoulder, and even back muscles.
I really could keep going on… ranching is a physical job. So much so that even with my intense morning workouts, I still get sore after a long day with The Rancher. If ever you were looking for a change in your exercise routine, come spend the day with a rancher!