WELL, it finally happened, Covid got me. I was the big man who would fight through it, not let it beat me. I’ve done man flu before and kept going. This would be no different, writes Farmer columnist, Adam Day.

Sadly no. I was completely floored for several days and unable to rise from the sofa on which I was told to eat, sleep and get on with it, isolated from family and friend. It could have been much worse. I already had bronchitis when I contracted Covid. Without two jabs I would have been in real trouble, I am sure!

When we’re younger, we’re unbreakable and take our health for granted until it goes wrong. In my mid 20’s I contracted a horrendous virus which saw me hospitalised with a temperature of 106.

Secondary infections and encephalitis meant that I slept for 20 hours a day and could barely shuffle about for weeks.

At the time I was about to start playing national league rugby for Aspatria and was in the best condition of my life. The surgeon’s words were quite chilling. “Were you not as fit as you are, you would not have survived this. You have the heart of a lion”!

Several months later I finally made it back to the rugby field to play for Aspatria third team against Penrith, the club I had just left in order to play at a higher level. As I ran between the posts to score a try and mark my return, my old Penrith coach Mike “Spike” Arragon shouted from the side lines, “You’re not even good enough to play in our third team”. He said later over a pint that he was joking, but I’m not sure!

The rugby days are long gone, leaving nothing but great memories and worn joints. Many of us don’t realise that old father time shuffles up behind us. It happens gradually and is a steady chase into middle and old age. Every year summer turns to autumn and then winter, and we take whatever is thrown at us, on the basis that we can’t do anything about it, but actually we can.

As I lay coughing and aching on the sofa a couple of weeks ago, I realised just how important it was that I had made that journey to get the Covid injections in March and June. I made a mental note that I would get both the Covid booster and the flu jab at the earliest opportunity. Using an excuse of “I’m too busy” or “they can’t manage without me” might have been something I said in my thirties, it most definitely would not be the case now.

My old farming grandfather used to talk about “three score and ten”, a biblical reference to life expectancy. He did rather better in the end, I’d quite like to do the same. As I get older, I’m beginning to realise I’m going to have to take better care of myself. One day down the line, having “the heart of a lion”, may not be enough.

Look after yourselves, people. Because no one else will do it for you!

n I have spent 30 years working as a land agent and auctioneer throughout Cumbria and beyond. I still enjoy auctioneering on a freelance basis, mostly at Penrith Mart, where I first started my career many years ago.

I joined the Farmer Network in 2015 initially working three days per week but now working four days per week. I am involved in all facets of the network, working closely with the board of directors and the management council to ensure that the network is delivering what members want and need.

A priority in my role has been to raise awareness of the Farmer Network and increase membership. In doing so we have been able improve income streams and project funding.

The Farmer Network is a sustainable business model.