I remember watching Groundhog Day as a kid, and I’m almost certain that I’m currently living it. Winter has been a bear so far and it doesn’t look like it’s going to back off anytime soon. Yes, I know, I live in Nebraska and this is just how the weather is, however the tired and cold I feel in my ginger soul (I do have a soul) is starting to wear me down.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation with someone and it led me to the thought of giving you all a little insight on what a regular day holds for me. So, sit back and prepare to be amused…
As most of you know, over the past few months I’ve been able to run almost all my runs on trails through our pastures. That has recently changed and I am currently living on the treadmill. Due to -10 and below windchill, me and ol’ Ted the Treadmill have been spending too much time together. Another issue I’ve been facing is icy trails, they have been one for the books this year. Its truly a miracle that me and my two left feet have only come crashing down a handful of times this winter.
Nonetheless, my days are still starting early with a treadmill run and some sort of strength training. The positives I’ve found with treadmill running; catching up on podcasts, catching up on social media, no frostbite 😊, and finally putting my treadmill to good use. It might be crazy to say, but I don’t even dislike the treadmill anymore. Besides the obvious benefit of being able to complete my training when its frigid and icy, the treadmill also helps me work on mental toughness. Last week I had a long run of an hour and a half and this week will be a two hour long run. When you step on the treadmill knowing you’re going to be on there awhile, it takes a strong mental game to get the job done.
After my morning run, I then proceed to put on 3 layers of clothing weighing about 15 extra pounds, and I am very thankful to God for this extra weight and warmth! Wool socks, tights, a t-shirt, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a vest, a scarf, coveralls, winter boots, Hot Hands, a stocking cap, mittens, a cup of coffee and we’re good to go 😊👌
We start off the day by feeding calves. Fairly straightforward; load the feed wagon, feed, reload, feed again, you get the idea. Once that is complete, we feed the cows around the ranch that weren’t sent off to cornstalks for the winter. My dad feeds hay and I feed corn. We have all the cattle within a mile of the home place, so that cuts down on feeding time. Along with feeding corn, I also get the pleasure of breaking ice. This is the best free arm workout I’ve ever had the pleasure of partaking in 😊
Morning feeding usually takes till about noon, and you can bet I look forward to lunch time everyday like a kid looks forward to Christmas! Lunch time is full of emails, avocados, and sometimes a power nap.
After lunch, we feed some smaller groups of cattle with bucketed corn. Again, another great way to tone those arms! We then have enough time to do a few odds and ends before we start feeding calves again before dark. Once this second round of feeding is complete, it’s finally time to call it a day.
I cannot wait for spring to get here. It doesn’t even have to be spring, I’d settle for temperatures above 20!
And that my friends, is the day in the life of a running rancher. It’s not glamorous and some days are a straight up struggle. However, I don’t think there is a more rewarding career than being involved in agriculture working with cattle. Stay warm and have a great week!
“One of the menacing assumptions that keeps us from living our life is the assumption that life is happening other than where we are.” -Mark Nepo