When I tell people that I’m starting a little farm, I often hear them say that it’s a lot of work. It is said in a way to suggest that I shouldn’t be doing it or that there are better ways to earn a living. I think that farming is sometimes looked down on a bit by older generations because they worked so hard to get out of the fields and in to desk jobs that focused on education and provided enough money that you could pay someone to do the ‘hard work’.
Part of the reason that I want a farm is for the hard work. In my day job, I teach at a community college, and I teach people how to become fitness trainers. I teach people how to help people work in order to stay healthy.
It seems that while our society has worked to produce more jobs that pay well and require less physical labor, our society has also grown to hate working. While it used to simply be a way of life, now the people with high paying sedentary jobs pay someone to help them walk on a treadmill or some other piece of equipment to help them stay in shape.
I’m casting my vote today for hard work. Sure, I’m sore beyond belief right now and I know that tomorrow I’m going to go out and do the same thing I did today (because I’m not done yet), but I choose to work at something I really love rather than standing on a revolving belt facing a mirror to prevent the chronic diseases that are killing most people in this country.
Not only will I not have to walk on a revolving belt or lift weights, but when I’m done I will have dug out a substantial portion of a hillside where I can have my compost bin. In the end, I will have something useful as a result of my labor. And sure, I could have hired a guy with a backhoe to do it in a fraction of the time it will take me to do it with a shovel and pick-axe, but I’m doing this for fitness in addition to being unbelievably cheap.
This isn’t to say that I think that fitness training is a useless field, it is gravely needed in our society, and I enjoy helping people be in better shape and feel better in everything they do. I also believe that there are many ways to approach fitness and a gym is just one of those ways. And not the way that I am going to choose for myself.