Wellbeing is a personal thing.
I have a goal to run ten 100km ultramarathons. I know it will take countless hours of training and sacrifice but it does give me plenty of time to debate life and find solutions to problems on my mind.
Beginning my 6 month training programme each year is painful. It takes a long time to get the body into running mode after cycling just to get to a point where I can realistically believe I can run another century. Why would anyone do this you ask – well it is good for my wellbeing. You see I have trouble slowing down and resting and recharging the batteries in the top 2 inches, the inches that count. Running and cycling does this for me. Physically I like to push myself further and further but mentally I am vulnerable like everyone else to stresses and strains of working life so need an outlet which exercise gives. The harder my working week the longer and harder I need to train.
Every week I work with farmers in their business which can take its toll especially over the past three years. I become a recipient of all their stress and problems and my focus as always is to reset their compass and head them back on their way. Not all of my clients have recreation interests off farm but those that do seem much happier with their lot. My conversation with these clients is much different and farming has become part of their life not the whole thing.
We don’t talk about work/like balance we talk about harmony. There will be weeks where they will spend more time on the farm so they need to make sure they take breaks off farm during this time. There will be other times where they will have more time to spend with family, recreation and sports.
For me to give 100% to my clients I need to be walking the talk myself. I think of it as putting my own oxygen mask on before I consider helping anyone else. Each Sunday I plan my training week ahead so when I hit Monday morning I have already set my release valve in motion before I head out to help others.
A spinoff has been cycling and running in places I would never have thought of. From getting lost around streets in Invercargill nearly missing my flight to being chased by dogs in Wellsford, running the Waikato river trails in Mangakino, or a bush trail on the Coromandel. All because I put my running gear in the ute before anything else. If I decide not to run that day that is fine, I will run tomorrow. I do it because it makes me feel good – when I finish.
Wellbeing is a personal thing as long as you do SOMETHING that makes you feel good. Recreation comes from the word re-create, Enjoy it and it will help reset your inner compass.
Do not compare yourself with others just do your thing whenever and wherever you can just do something.
Ian Handcock started Fit 4 Farming.
Ian is a farm consultant based in Thames, and is married with three children. His passions are farming and helping to improve the health of New Zealand farmers, particularly through exercise.
FIT 4 FARMING is all about making sure, you the person, is fit for purpose to carry out your life in the best way possible. There is plenty of research to show organised, active people lead a healthier life.