I am getting my butt KICKED.
I am no stranger to heavy lifting, livestock manhandling and other pretty hefty, physically demanding activities. I might have even been a little bold as to say that I feel pretty strong compared to other similar twenty-something females. But not now. Not after these past two days. Never before have I sweated out so much, and so quickly. However, I have a feeling that if you ever try to control a 150lb animal, carefully and quickly run a potentially dangerous tool as close as you can to it’s hide, and not fall over, you will understand why.
Yesterday was the end of our second day at sheep shearing school and I have to say it is amazing the progress we have all made in just two days. Every fleece is now coming off in one piece, there is less blood[!], and we are shearing more and more sheep each hour. There is such an art to this age old skill, there is a pace and a rhythm you have to embody, and the quickest way to do it is to get stuck right in.
But boy is it hard. I cannot fathom the idea of doing even TWO sheep back to back, let alone a whole flock. Sure, I’m probably too tense, and, as all beginners seem to, I’m no doubt clasping the clippers to tight and holding the sheep with unnecessary force, but this has to be one of the most physically challenging things I have done, ever.
As I sat last night trying to finish one of my never ending WIPs at my campsite [yes, I know, I’m kinda wishing I had paid out for that hotel room…with a tub] I have a deeper connection with the yarn that I work with and now fully [and painfully] understand the effort it took to get it here.
This morning I am swotting up on my technique and have made a point to seek out the heartiest, most filling and hopefully longest-ever-lasting eggy breakfast to carry me through the day. As much as it is bone achingly exhausting I am loving it. Its a huge challenge, not only physically but mentally too, and there is such precision required that I find it all quite addicting. Bring on the sheep!
So people, my point is, please respect your yarn – from whereEVER you bought it, mainstream craft store or local farm alike – and the shearer that took part in getting the wool to you. They are hard, hard workers.