Dani Darke has taken up running and is feeling awesome.

The fresh start of a New Year always gets me excited and fired up to try something new. I often set New Years resolutions after being successful with a few in my teenage years. One year it was to read more books, another year it was to make sure I brushed my teeth twice a day (yeh a bit gross that I apparently didn’t). Anyhow by the end of each year I had successfully cultivated a habit and so I was sold that resolutions work.

This year I’ve decided to cultivate a habit of running so that by 2021 I can legitimately call myself a Runner. Perhaps by telling you about it I’ll be more likely to succeed, although I’m taking a risk as I picked up a running book at the library and one thing it said was – don’t talk about running to everyone all the time, they will think you are boring and painful…hmmm…

In my short fling with running I’ve learned a few things. The first thing is that running is not fun. I actually knew that already, but what I didn’t know is that even people who run a lot often also dislike it – and here I was thinking it was just me. Apparently, it’s ok to not like it – but you just do it anyway.

The second thing is that lying to myself works. When I want to walk, I can just lie to myself that I’ll walk once I get to that gate up there, and by the time I get to the gate I’ve forgotten about walking. It literally works every time. I’m interested to see what other areas in my life this pretend lying could be useful (“I’ll only drench this first race of calves” or “my town day will only last half an hour”). Actually I’m probably already guilty of this: “it will definitely rain in March” got me last year.

The third thing is that the inner b***h inside my head can be used for positive things like getting my butt out of bed and on the road at 5.45am, or by shunning my excuses or self-bargaining and telling me to get on with it.

I’ve been running for about a month now and it’s made pretty much every aspect of my life better. I’m sleeping better, I’m more energetic, my sore back feels better, I spend less time ruminating, I’m more organised, my house has been spring cleaned, my garden has had a haircut, I’m nicer to my beloved husband, and I just generally feel more awesome! All of that for just an hour a day of hard and boring running – I’m totally sold on it.

On the farming front, after a gloomy winter we made a magnificent come back, and I’m happy to say that we actually managed to smash it over spring and summer. We started selling bulls in late November, and had them all gone just after New Years for stunning prices. We had a good clean out of our lambs at weaning with incredible store and fat prices, and now have around 400 left. Our ewes were sold early for more than our 18kg fat lambs! I don’t mean to skite but it’s not very often that we actually get this stuff right, in-fact usually it’s quite the opposite and we are left scratching our heads as to how we could have got it so wrong. Now the focus is getting our ewe lambs up to mating weight. With the dry starting to bite, and no summer cropping this will be a challenge, and we may have to think differently about how we do it.