Sunday, January 29, 2017

Let's Call It "Cowboy Fitness."

Dear Friends,

I started a post titled "Health and Fitness." And yes, I was going to give you information that I've gathered from web sites, health magazines, and medical journals. I figured between that information, and that what I've learned in the Marine Corps and from friends into bodybuilding and fitness in days gone by, I'd have some pretty good information to pass on to you.

Yes, I started a post titled "Health and Fitness" but deleted it.

Instead, I started thinking about how the other day I took advantage of the nice weather to repair water troughs and repair broken water pipes during our latest freeze. I started thinking about how the next day I dug some small trenches to divert water and some others so that I could put in more PVC water pipes to replace the leaking pipes. I also repaired some corral fencing after I unloaded my pickup load of sixteen 85 to 90 pound bales of alfalfa.

I thought about working our Mustang mare the other day before having to dig six post holes. I thought about mucking stalls, replacing chewed up boards in our barn, and painting the new boards with a no-chew mixture. I thought about how a couple of weeks ago I moved sixteen 12 foot panels and a gate panel. I recalled how I carried each panel about 70 yards to where my new round pen would go. I recalled manhandling each panel and hooking them together to make the pen. And yes, I recalled thinking this is why guys my age make things permanent instead of portable.

It's called "chores," and that's what needs to be done when looking after a place. Granted they're not like the everyday chores of making sure we have wood cut and split for our wood stove, or feeding our dog and cats, and of course feeding our horses, or cleaning stalls. The chores for upkeep around a place can be a great workout of sorts, but you already know that that's where I'm going with this.

Besides the regular chores that come up and keep me busy on a daily basis around our place, I open up our local American Legion on Monday afternoons at 4 o'clock. That is if I can ever remember to drop what I'm doing and get my butt over there and not keep my friends waiting.

Yes, being the 2nd Vice Commander of our local American Legion is a kick in the ass. Being a veteran, I like giving to our local veterans club. Over the years I've become more and more responsible for a lot of the operation of our post, but that's OK. Truth is, all in all, though I'm in charge of the bar, the kitchen, the post's building maintenance, and a few other aspects of our post, I actually delegate a lot of things that need to get done.

So showing up at 4pm, I volunteer to open and work behind the bar for a few hours. Then, after I come home, my wife usually has dinner waiting. And after dinner, I usually feed the second feeding for our horses. It's then that go outside and look into the stars and feel at peace and close to God. It's then that I tell the Lord how I miss my loved ones now passed. Yes, it's also then that I beg God to bless those I love who need help.

After I come in from checking the horses, and doing what I do, that's when I sit at this computer. That's when I try to read e-mail or write a post. That's when I smile hearing my wife laugh at one of her goofy shows on television. OK, or cuss out some politician on the news.

Today is Sunday, and this morning I ran over to open our American Legion post for a small birthday party. Yes, a private party. Someone new to the area, visiting, asked me what we charge for the use of our post? I told them that we're supposed to charge a few hundred but we make exceptions for folks.

As I'm sure you've heard me say a thousand times, Glencoe, California, has a population of 189. And frankly, I'm not really sure of exactly how many folks live in the town of West Point about 7 miles to the east or in Railroad Flat about 6 miles to the south. But all together, I really don't think there can be 2,000 people if we combine all who live around these parts.

So no, when someone came to me and asked to schedule a private party, especially us knowing that it was for a small surprise 80th birthday party for a resident from around here, our post won't charge her family to have it at our post. It's simply not the way we are.

So since I was determined to write something when I got home tonight, and I decided that I wanted to write something about health and fitness, I thought maybe I'd write something on workout schedules, using weights or a cable machine, on repetitions and sets, and the importance of intensity and length of workout. Then I laughed and thought about how a beer or two a day is now said to be good for us, and how would I ever work that new research finding into a section on diet and exercise.

Yes, I was certain that today I was going to write about staying fit. But instead, I decided to write you about how my wife and me are busy staying busy. And yes, I decided how staying busy doing things is as good as hitting the gym.

Yes, I thought about how my wife and I went to town a few weeks ago to pick up a load of road-base gravel. And yes, how we laughed while shoveling the gravel in an effort to get it unloaded onto our driveway before it started raining cats and dogs.

So what is this country fitness program? 

Part of it's the chores that I've mentioned. It is the work that I've mentioned. It goes to what it takes to live in the country and take care of livestock and horses. It goes to what it takes to just maintain a place in the country.

Yes, it takes a never-ending to-do list that's for certain. And yes, it seems as though there are always fences to fix, gates to hang, bales to buck and stack, animals to feed, stalls that need mucking, pens that have manure to needs to be hauled. Of course this time of year, my hands are frozen and my arthritis acts up. And yes, working in cold water and mud is not my favorite thing. But then again, I know things have to get done. And yes, that too is a part of the "Country Fitness Program."

Whether it's clearing brush, cleaning corrals, hauling manure, or fixing fence. unlike most folks in the city, most country folks just take things in stride and take care of things that need doing. If that means hard work, then so be it.

I figure my fitness program is one where I stay busy, sometimes busier than others times. But all and all, stay busy. Right now the weather is the pits. Fact is problems like broken water pipes and frozen water troughs take place in winter. That's just the way it is.

Like everyone else who lives in the country, my wife and I get busy when the weather's better. Yes, mostly preparing for next winter. And while I'm not working as hard in the winter, other than problems that come up here and there, my "fitness program" is still taking place because I'm trying to keep on top of those problems. Yes, movement is like that. Besides, someone has to. And friends, as everyone knows, big or small, problems certainly won't fix themselves.

Because the ground is soft, tomorrow I will take on a fence-post that needs replacing. And yes, I may muck stalls to stay on top of things. I may bath two horses and work three, but that might wait until Tuesday.

I figure that I can get that done before I need to go to my Mom's house to do some chores there. She's 82 and pretty independent, but she's still 82 and needs a hand now and then. And yes, the Lord really frowns on a bad son.

So there you go, there's my article on health and fitness. It is my "ranch, farm, country sort of fitness program"  Oh heck! How about we just call it "Cowboy Fitness." It's works by working and keeping busy.

It's a great program and easy to stick to. All you have to do is want to clean up around your home and property, do your chores, don't let your junk pile up too high, garden, plant, enjoy being outside, and keep things up. Yes, put things away, keep fences mended, cut, split, and bring in your wood to keep your stove fired up!

If you look around your home, I'm sure you too can skip the gym membership and find enough activity to keep you busy. For me, while the pounds might not be melting off, they're not coming on either. And frankly, I'm feeling pretty good about that.

Tom Correa


  1. Sir: There is a newfangled invention called a tractor. Unless you just like being mired in menial manual tasks, look into one...seriously, it's the new wave..

    1. Thanks for the advice. I've been actually looking into one. Thanks for visiting my site.


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