Manual Labor and Keeping Fit


There is an inherent freedom in working on the land. The sweet scents and aroma of cut grass and herbs tingle the senses. The beauty of nature manifested through all of creation and life basks you in the sweat and satisfaction of knowing that you are among creation itself. Rather than being surrounded by concrete walls and other materials, you marvel at the pristine character of nature’s finest.

But it does not end there, working on the land is a reward in itself both for you and your body. Sure, in some days, it may feel like toil and very hard work. But in most days it’s far more than that. It’s a rejuvenation of your body that is somewhat directly intertwined with the beauty of nature. The weight of timber on your shoulders pushes one to your limits. Climbing a tree infuses you with a naturally induced adrenaline from fear of falling and the wind rejuvenates your tired spirit.

For me, working manual labor on the land has greater benefits than the imposed cardiovascular regimen and the demanding strength that is required to carry out a task. More than exercise and fresh air, you realize the depths of man’s responsibility towards nature as we enter a new era of climate change. Nature’s beauty is manifest through our responsibility towards it.

Keeping fit is just the tip of the iceberg. I am forced to prepare for each day not for any tournament but for my body’s capabilities and limitations. A good steward needs to be able to face the most daunting and heartbreaking of challenges that nature and man can give. I have seen my share of fallen tree trunks that need to be cleared. I have felt the power of the wind push me backward as I work on the land. I have known of water’s persistence to flow. Finally, I have witnessed the devastation that all of these combined can give.

Everyday, I try my best to maintain my fitness regimen. I do push-ups, squats, stretches, jumping jacks and I jog in place just to keep the sleepy blood in me flowing. After that I constantly look for nutritional sustenance in the form of nature’s blessings in fruits. I specially love citrus fruits that feel more than they can give than those artificial energy drinks. I’ve heard that coconut water is a big craze in some countries as an energy drink, but I get mine fresh from the tree and even drink using the coconut shell as the cup.

Not everyone who is accustomed to urban living could live like I do. It is certainly a tough challenge that requires me to be fit in many, many aspects so I can fulfill my job. But like a marathon, eventually I would have to pass the baton to someone else. A man or a woman with not only a physically fit physique but also a man with the strength of character, courage and integrity to fulfill the dreams of my parents who gave me this land.  I believe there is a reason for everything.

I am here because of a plan.

Keeping fit in mind and body is just my way of preparing my body for accomplishing that goal.


Creative Commons Image via Flickr 

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