For almost 15 years now, I have driven past a neighbor’s farm and observed with keen interest his two longhorn steers. They are really magnificent animals, and these are somewhat elusive, preferring to stay indoors when it is hot or raining. Over the years, I have developed a relationship with these animals. I feel affection for them. If I see them outdoors, I consider it very lucky and often I will stop to photograph them.
Last year, I went many weeks without seeing either one of them. Those weeks stretched into a couple of months and I realized, with great sadness, that perhaps they had been put down. I don’t know how long steer live and they had been together for more than a dozen years. I mourned the loss of my steers and had nearly decided that I should just drop in on the elderly couple that owned them to find out what had happened to my friends and offer words of comfort and condolences on the loss of their pets, when suddenly, the solid black steer reappeared, to my immense happiness. It made perfect sense to me that the surviving steer must have also been grieving that his lifelong companion had fallen.
The black steer continued to make himself seen, although he was more shy, more reserved, and more reclusive, preferring to remain primarily tucked between barns where he could easily retreat to the indoors, almost as though his personality had changed completely. He sometimes went for several weeks without appearing at all, and oddly, although their property is immaculately maintained, there would be no manure, no hoofprints, no sign of life. It slowly dawned on me that perhaps all these years, I have not been seeing the same steers at all. Maybe that sweet, stooped, elderly couple that lives on that property are eating my friends. Maybe all those long periods of not seeing a steer (or a pile of manure, or a strand of hay or a single hoofprint) have occurred because my steers are being processed and eaten. And then I wonder, how much beef can those old bags eat anyway? And I believe this now. I believe that those two old people who look so diminutive and charming are serial steer killers and all this time I’ve thought I had a relationship with two steers and it really has been….how many?
As of today, I have not seen a steer in almost 8 weeks, and believe me, I am looking. I think those predators are gorging themselves on my friends. I am keeping a close eye on this.
I started my day with The Terra this morning and she had some dreadful HIIT sets for me. Here is my Polar report for the day:
I feel as though it does not look that impressive, but I promise that my butt is killing me.
Let’s talk about this for a minute. On my own, I generally run and ride the horses, but I also do strength training. Strength training has a host of benefits to your health and fitness. First, and most obviously, strength training increases your bone density, and I am at an age now where I have to think about this. Strength training also has a much higher level of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption than aerobic exercise. This means that once you complete your workout, your body burns a much greater amount of energy working to replenish itself to re-achieve its normal, pre-workout stasis. Some studies have shown that it can boost your metabolism for up to 38 hours after you finish exercising.
I forgot to mention anything about food yesterday. Along with The Sound of Music, we ordered Chinese carry out, which is normally horrible for you. However, I have got them making me steamed broccoli and chicken breast with ginger, no sauce and no seasonings. I lightly salt it and it is quite delicious and healthy.
We are back to salad for this evening, and I will start my next batch of spiced venison stew for the dogs. I will probably use root vegetables in it instead of winter fruits this time.
Until tomorrow, then, I wish you a good and stress free day.