I Am Only Human…

I tell my own children and the children that I coach that I will never ask them to do anything that I do not fully believe that they can do.  I am notorious for challenging my young athletes, and we always end each swimming practice with 25 yard freestyle sprints where there is no breathing allowed.  It is amazing to watch both the strength and the confidence of my athletes build as they learn to believe in themselves.

My favorite 7 year old takes in some oxygen after a 25 yard freestyle race that she is able to complete without breaking her stroke for a breath!

As both a mom and a coach I have found that as I raise the bar higher, the kids always rise to the challenge and perform better.  I am training not only their bodies, but also their minds.  Self-confidence and the ability to work through physical and mental challenges to reach victory are vitally important life lessons that my athletes will remember long after each season is over.

If you look carefully at the back of our team shirt that I am wearing, you will read the caption “Oxygen is Overrated”. My favorite 12 year old (pictured here) knows that as she builds her lungs in the pool, she also builds her confidence and toughness…

In my own life, I also raise the bar pretty high as I juggle being a mom, a youth athletic coach, a caretaker of close to 3000 cattle, and an advocate for agriculture.  Most days I am at the feed yard just after 6:00am and am still going strong as the sun sinks below the horizon sometime after 9:00pm.  I fall into bed at night exhausted and wondering what the next day will bring.

Watching the sun rise over the feed yard is a beautiful way to start the day…

There is no doubt that entering the world of advocacy has lengthened my days.  I often find myself thinking of my swimmers as the mental challenge of adding one more thing to the list pushes the limits of my abilities.  There are days when I think to myself, I am only human, how will I get everything done?

My plate is pretty full…

My experience with popular media outside of agriculture and my blog site is limited.  I have spent most of my efforts connecting with people outside of my farm on a personal level. I rarely have allowed a reporter the ability to have a glimpse of my life and then given him the right to portray that glimpse to others.

Recently, I took a leap of faith and opened the door to my life, my family and my farm to a Washington DC reporter.  He spent about a day with our family, in addition to several phone interviews.  A consulting photographer visited our farm two different times to take pictures.  When I agreed to the interview, I never dreamed how vulnerable I would feel as the story was being written.

The reporter visiting with Matt about the business side of our crop farm…

It is one thing to sit down at my own computer and write about personal experiences.  It is something entirely different to allow a stranger to write about his perceptions of both my family and our farm.  Throughout the entire process, I have experienced a myriad of emotions.

It appears that this Friday the story will go to press…

  • I wonder if I was successful in conveying my life and my livelihood in a meaningful and understandable fashion?
  • I worry that the story that will go to press might not accurately portray who I am and what I believe in.

Throughout this process, I remind myself that I am only human and the story that gets told is now out of my hands.  It has taken personal strength for each member of my family to go through this experience, and I am very thankful that Matt and my girls were willing to rise to the occasion.

They make sacrifices so that I can do all of the things that I do…

I will post a link to the article once it is published, as well as offer my own thoughts on the contents of the article in a blog post next week…


Filed under Feed Yard Foodie "In The News", General

5 responses to “I Am Only Human…

  1. Stephanie Rush

    Rest assured, you spoke from the heart….and anytime that we are able to “talk” about the things we are passionate about; people become fully aware of our commitment and desire to strive to be the best that we can. I am anxious to read it Anne!

  2. Paula

    Anne, you do a wonderful job of sharing your story through your blog. Those writings will serve as a great resource for the reporter. And if he is good and thorough at his job, he will call with more questions if something is unclear. Or, if you felt that he might not have understood something, I suggest that you call him and ask him to review his notes with you to ensure he has it right. I look forward to reading this article, too. 🙂

  3. You convey your story so well through your blog. I have been following you for close to a year now and see you as one of the bloggers I hope to be like one day. You are a complete inspiration to me (thanks!). I fully believe your story will be great and they will share your story in a heart felt and true way.


  4. Mary Laura

    First of all, you shouldn’t be worried. When I read your blog, even when you talk about things I might not agree with, I find myself having to look hard at my views again because you are so positively, meaningfully, cheerfully a supporter of the things YOU believe in. People can’t help but understand your side of the story, whether they agree with it or not. They also can’t fault your care and committment to your family and animals. You can definitely “SPIN” (Washington speak) it girl! I know vegetarians who still won’t eat meat, but have agreed that what you do and how you do it is just fine with them. Would this article possibly appear in the Washington Post? If so, I am SO stealing tomorrow’s paper from Jim!

  5. I want to thank all of you for your kind words today. I appreciate your comments and support so much. The article is actually appearing in a business magazine and I will pass along the link when I receive it.

    Have a good night!

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