Work as Sport

If there’s one good thing I got from my German ancestry, and I would maintain there might be more than one, it is a work ethic. My work ethic remains alive and well, as do I currently, and we both march through this life together. In recent years my attitude toward work has evolved into the following: if I’m going to do this physical work on a daily basis, I may as well treat it as something more than mere work. I’ve come to treat it as sport, and it serves me well. That allows me to eat like an athlete in training, take care of myself like a thoroughbred race-horse, sleep the sleep of the dead every night, and take pride in knowing I’m in better shape now than when I was in my 40’s. I read a novel in the early 80’s titled: The Thornbirds. It was set in Queensland, Australia, in the late 1800’s, when it was settled. I had an interest, because I would soon be traveling there. I remember two characters from the novel quite vividly, two outback, redneck (literally) Aussie blokes who both started sugar-cane plantations, in hot, humid, jungle-like Queensland. They developed an attitude toward work as a sort of survival strategy: they competed with one another to see who could out-work and out-produce the other. They turned their brutally physical labor into a game, a sport, a competition, and to them work became strangely fun. So if you see me smiling or joking around with one of my workers, you can know that I’m truly enjoying myself in the pursuit excellence in your yard. I must take some joy in everything I do as much as I do my work, my business, or what kind of wretch would I be? No other answer, for me, than work as sport.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *