I am not kidding. There is no punch line and this is not a metaphor to make a poetic, philosophical point. My second year in 4H I went big and purchased six piglets.
A few weeks later, I came out to find five of the pigs chasing the one poor guy around who had literally coughed its bowel sack out. It was protruding and the others were trying to bite it. As a 3rd grader, I had no idea that could happen and was devastated when he was taken away (plenty of scrapple that year) and as an adult I still can’t imagine how hard that pig had to cough, but I digress.
My Dad and I were a team raising and showing the pigs and I learned many valuable lessons along the way. I know how to prepare stalls and corrals for piglets, configure PVC pipes for automated drinking water and other crazy skills that will be shared through this blog. One key take away that stuck with me is how to be a successful competitor. You need to over prepare and you absolutely can’t do it alone.
Part of the training for the show included me walking the pigs daily around our property. At first it was like herding cats but then they are smart animals and I became the pied piper of my pig tribe. The morning of the “big show” I went out to the barn to feed the pigs, they were gone! My Dad and I searched the property and found them in the pasture resting safely under a tree. I love when my Dad tells the story of me walking along the back of the house with my five pigs following close behind. The training paid off in spades, they obediently walked right back to their corral and that was the year I won the prestigious “Champion Trio” award.
This past weekend I participated in a Tough Mudder. It is an 11.3 mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces testing your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Very cool company and has raised more than $3 million dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project.
I was prepared. I have been running, lifting, stretching and had the right clothes and shoes. It was going to plan until I had to army crawl under a 30 inch high canopy of barbed wire with live electrical wires hanging like upside down birthday candles for a 500 year old. I was getting shocked the whole way through. It hurt like a mudder fudder and I was not prepared for that. There were two more ‘live wire’ obstacles to face before we reached the finish line.
You know what got me through? My teammates. A word of encouragement, many laughs and knowing people were there to support and give you a hand.
So whether you come across an unexpected bowel problem (more blogs coming on this topic), electrical wiring or a lost pig, find strength from inside yourself and your teammates, regroup and keep your eye on the prize.
Wine pick: Alamos Malbec – Argentina ($12)