Gold medal events at the Farm-lympics

Published 5:16 am Wednesday, March 9, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
If coordination and athletic prowess were dollars and quarters I wouldn't have enough money for a soda.
In middle school I broke six bones in my foot just jumping out of a swing. And once in karate I did a side-thrust-kick and threw my knee out of place.
I wasn't kicking anybody or anything; I just kicked out, snapped it back in too hard, and kicked my support leg from under me.
In fact, the only time I have ever shown any kind of athletic prowess was working on the family farm.
People who aren't used to farm work might think you don't have to be athletic to work on a farm, but they'd be wrong.
Compiled is a short list of events that any farmer would love to see in the Olympics:
The head-butt hop – this is a gymnastic event that many cattle farmers might be familiar with.
When cows are young and tame it is common to try to pet them or feed them snacks from your pocket. Occasionally these cute little calves will bump you for more, which is all well and good when the cow weighs 50 pounds, but it gets pretty rough when they hit 800 or so.
The head-butt hop is when a full-grown cow sneaks up behind you and nudges you. If the cow catches you just right you can get at least three minutes of airtime and complete several complicated maneuvers (and a little choice language) before hitting the ground.
My dad has a picture of me being flipped into the air by a 900 pound Angus as the screensaver on his computer.
The 100-yard dash – sure the real Olympics has this event, but it has always been beyond me why someone would run when they didn't have to.
Until you accidentally pound a metal post into a yellow-jacket nest you will never know how fast your body can move.
My parents have always been in the construction business. A few years ago my dad bought a big Link Belt track hoe. The thing stands about two stories off the ground. One day I opened up the battery compartment to charge the batteries only to find that hornets had built a rather large nest in the compartment. I jumped off from about 15 feet in the air at a run and made it 200 yards in less time than it takes to say "Olympic Gold Medallist"
The only thing moving faster than me was the swarm of hornets.
The pole vault – this too may sound familiar to Olympic fans, but this is a totally different sport altogether.
This event can only be done when fixing fences in an area of the farm that you feel "looks snaky," as in there's a lot of rocks and leaves where snakes could be hiding.
All it takes is for a fence pole that you laid on the ground to shift a little, making a sound like a snake. A particularly paranoid farmer can jump a good eight feet in the air and come down stomping so hard it sounds like a stampede.
These are just a few fun sports that could make even the least athletically inclined person look like a gold medallist.
Maybe later I'll tell you about the barb wire roll shot put, cow patty hurdles, or the tailgate tumble.
Lee Weyhrich is the Managing Editor of the Atmore Advance. His column appears weekly.

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