A Day in the Life of a First Generation Rancher

“Blog!” You tell me. I have no idea what I’m doing. Just running with it. Thanks for the encouragement! Multilingual video blogs coming soon? Perhaps. Stay tuned.

As a first generation rancher, I’ve had quite a task set in front of me. Building the infrastructure to create and sustain a working ranch is no small feat. What’s perhaps created an even more interesting track of obstacles is that my goal has never been to profit.

While profiting is of course one of the goals of every single business, it has not been one of my personal goals. My main personal goal (which is also the main mission of the company) is to not only improve the land, but also reach out to a generation of younglings who will desire to become lifelong learners of how we, as humans, as companies, countries and individuals, can make small and consistent changes toward positive growth and in turn improve the health of our own bodies and the health of our world, which I’ll argue is one hundred percent the same thing as the health of our great grand children’s bodies. That’s the goal: Improve health.

Over the course of learning how to… oh you know… do all the things (I write with a bit of a smirk), I’ve had may fair share of challenges and obstacles. Yes, we all have obstacles. Some are just taller or muddier or colder or hotter or stingy-er or more painful than others. Running a ranch is hard. Running it as a female in a failing profit-centric world is even harder. Running it with no clue of what one is doing? Priceless! I can chuckle right now but it doesn’t always feel that way. Learning how to do everything from starting a business to creating a website to marketing, handling a livestock herd, breaking colts, re-starting a problem horse, trailer a full load through five states solo with an eleven year old in tow, operating heavy machinery… I could go on. It’s been real real. Needless to say there have been a LOT of learning moments over the years. The thing that has helped me through every intense moment of the way is a constant decision to honor myself by improving my health step by step, and honoring future lives by never forgetting the goal.

My journey forward to Healthy-er Living (because when can we really say we have achieved “healthy living”?) has been a whole approach. Many years ago, after finding that conventional medicine was not helping solve any of my problems (and in fact, they were becoming more exacerbated), I turned to alternative treatments. Over the past eight years a combination of awareness of breathing and posture, nutrition and of course continued attention to mental and spiritual health has led me to a space where not only do I feel a LOT better, but I also have the opportunity to share with others what I’ve learned.

In the requests for blogs I’ve heard some good stuff.
Include Sam, include the animals, speak in Spanish, teach literacy skills, show horse How To’d, show projects at the ranch…” and a most applicable recent request from a representative at PEAK had got me thinking. “You should write about health tips.”

Early on when Austin started shelter in place and Civid-combative polices, I started talking more about the ways I’ve learned to combat an array of health ailments. My backstory is the same to many. It’s of course not the same as all in terms of symptoms, but I think the root issues for many of us are the same. Personally, I’ve experienced a long history of respiratory illness and sinus infections. I was raised in an environment where constant smoking (collectively 3-5 packs a day indoors and all the lysol and aerosol to the moon and back to cover it up) was a problem. That was exacerbated by the fact that I was diagnosed with asthma as a baby, had a near-death experience at something like 6 months old, and grew up on sugar, white break, lunchables and TV dinners. My diet was pretty bad. Luckily I did get exposure to healthy eating here and there, and that has made a big impact on my journey toward closing healthier. Unfortunately, there was some damage done growing up. You can’t wreck your gut and not experience the ramifications. In addition, we always had a rabbit in the house. I was severely allergic to rabbits up through my 20s. (I’ve got a really funny story about a nurse calling me after my allergy test to make sure I hadn’t gone into anaphalaxis.). Now, I’m able to handle rabbits with minimal reactions. Why? It’s not exposure. I had plenty of exposure as a child. I think it’s gut health.

When Garret asked me to write him an email with some tips on staying healthy during the pandemic, I said “Sure!” But as the days ticked into weeks and the weeks rolled on, I found that not only was I not getting back to people with email, but that more and more specific requests were coming in. This is new to me so bear with me. My life is my work and there’s a fine line between business and personal. It’s a ranch. It’s my life. It’s my everything. Navigating those waters presents its own set of challenges. Keep in mind while you’re reading (are you still with me or have I lost you already?) that I’ve always morphed the company services with community needs in mind. If you have ideas, suggestions, please reach out! I love to hear from you. In truth, I can’t guarantee I’ll be checking email every day. I’m busy with running a ranch, running a household and now of all things, homeschooling too. By nature of my existence, my screen time is limited. Write me back at MaverickHorsebackRiding2gmail.com

Alright so back to health and humans, horses and ranching. What’s kept me going is the commitment to myself to honor my body and spirit better, but also of course with every step I take to ensure that I am moving toward honoring the land, too. That way I’m honoring the bodies of children I”ll never know. That’s important to me, and part of how the business was founded. That goes in line with some of the tenets of Texas ranching: leave the land better than you found it. I love that. It’s near and dear to my heart. But what does “better” really mean? And what if reconstructing “better treatment” meant that a variety of traditional practices needed to be revised or thrown out altogether?

Eek. Now things are hairy.

Here’s the foundation of what I’m selling: We all need to understand gut health, spinal health, mental and spiritual health and earth health in order to start to construct what “Healthier Living” really means. Talk about a long-winded way to tell you something so simple. We need to be aware.

It isn’t until we are aware that we can begin to make positive changes toward improvement. Awareness itself is challenging. I challenge you to be aware of how you bereath throughout the day. Be aware of how you sit and move. Be aware of how you use your words and what thoughts pop uo in your head. Be aware of where your food comes from and what ingredients are in it. Just be aware.

At the early stage of the game of becoming Healthier, awareness is key. That sounds so simple but I promise you, it is hard! Today, just make a commitment to being aware of these things. I’d like to dig into it more but that’ll have to be a topic for another day. Till then please do email me and let me know what you think of this blog series. You can read my somewhat dramatic first post in which I was reeling from a series of hard hits (click here). I assure you that when the going gets tough, it’s easy to want to give in. Sometimes the most one can do in life is take one breath at a time.

If quarantine or shelter in place protocol has got you down, take respite. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you “It will get better, I promise.” In reality, we all know it can definitely get worse. Making pretend that it will only get better might lead you to false hope. I don’t roll like that. I do tell you that (as far as I am convinced on a macro-scale) it will be “ok.” In the end I believe it will be ok. I’d like it to be better than ok, but maybe that isn’t for this moment in time for you. That’s ok too. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to think about hard times, challenges and fears. Just don’t let it swallow you up. Don’t lead with fear. Lead with light and love. And awareness. Don’t forget awareness.

Peace, light and love,

JM

The Blog

Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

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A Day in the Life of a First Generation Rancher

“Blog!” You tell me. I have no idea what I’m doing. Just running with it. Thanks for the encouragement! Multilingual video blogs coming soon? Perhaps. Stay tuned. As a first generation rancher, I’ve had quite a task set in front of me. Building the infrastructure to create and sustain a working ranch is no small […]

Continue Reading

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