By Chris Harms
It is almost that magical time of year where we start harvesting persimmons here on the Farm.
While I enjoy the process of picking, slicing and loading the dehydrators, there are occasions where I would rather be doing something else …
So, on these rare days that I am feeling less ambitious, rather than getting out the giant orchard ladder and climbing to the sky, I keep my feet on the ground and begin filling up the bucket with the easy-to-reach ones. As time goes on, and there are less and less “low-hanging fruit”, I will often find myself reaching higher and higher into the tree. Before you know it, I’m up on the ladder and the bucket is full.
When tasked with something you really don’t want to do, try starting with the easy stuff first.
This reminds me of my high school geometry teacher, Mrs. Kellam, having the class do daily plexers taken out of the Sacramento Bee. I’m not sure how much juice she could squeeze out of a class of freshmen and sophomores anyway, but she was trying to get our minds’ mathematical juices flowing before diving into the real lesson of the day. Oftentimes the plexers were entertaining, and I appreciated the artist’s creativity, but what are we talking about school for?
There are many similarities between training in the gym and working on the Farm.
Believe it or not, there are days where I don’t want to work out. For whatever reason, my motivation in the weight room just isn’t there and I’d rather be doing something else. But a training day is scheduled in my program, so I am going to get it done. Just like filling the bucket with persimmons, I don’t start with the most challenging exercises first. I start with the easy-to-do ones - like skipping rope, slamming some medicine balls, maybe even a kettlebell swing or two (cranking up the stereo with your favorite playlist often helps as well).
Physiologically speaking, this elevates the heart rate and increases core body temperature. Mentally, it allows me to get my mind “right” and start preparing for what’s about to come. Breaking a sweat will help grease the joints for the heavy squat or bench press, but won’t wear you out so much that you’re fatigued, and at the same time allows you to get you into the proper headspace. Before you know it, a solid hour of training is done, and you’re headed out the door a better version of yourself. In fact, I would argue that these days - when you don’t want to train, but do - are the most important for building character and discipline. Those are the days that separate you from everybody else, the people who never push themselves when they don’t want to.
Roll up your sleeves, break a sweat, and get some dirt on your hands. Because the work still has to get done, after all.