The Adventure in Watersports.
The sky. Black. Temperatures. Brisk. I quietly load all my gear into my car. As I plug the address into my phone. I raise my coffee cup to my mouth, to sip the pipping liquid. The steam warms my face.
In 2008 my life began to change. I left the constraints of what I should do in society. And pursued what I want to do. A journey that has had its ups and downs. But all in all has been a success.
Along the way I have found some new activities, revisited old ones. And have focused on constantly learning and growing.
One of the biggest additions to my life started in 2011.
Stand up paddleboarding.
This single activity has been fueling my outside the box approach to making a living and giving back to society.
Shortly after paddling entered my world, yoga followed. It has been the biggest piece to inspire me to learn more. And become a student, daily.
As the life altering experiences continued. One snuck back into my life about two years ago. And it holds a special place in my world. It has also caused a few people to look at me in a funny way. You know like when our dogs turn their head sideways when we ask them a question. Ya that's the one.
Being on the water and trying to catch fish. Has been in my life almost as long as playing hockey, since before I can remember. It even has roots in my Dad's family as his father used to catch fish out of the local lakes, get this, to live off of.
Fishing has evolved a long ways from that basic life need, thanks to my parents dedication to hard work. And giving my sister and I the opportunity and support to succeed. The tie with fishing is still as strong as my grandfathers. And now I am finding myself on the same waters that he once visited.
For me the activity is bigger than throwing a line, reeling in a fish. Taking a selfie and letting it go. Don't get me wrong I do plenty of that.
The process of getting out on the water. Sometimes in spots so secluded. That I let a few people know where I have ventured off to. Just in case. Has been fueling the need for adventure and the connection with nature. On a recent trip. The fish were biting extremely well. But I also witnessed something prehistoric like. I heard a massive screech from the tree tops. And what caught my eye was something, I could not believe. An adult bald eagle, 6 plus foot wing span, in a duel with a Great Blue Heron, wing span about the same. I felt as if I was back in time witnessing the Pterodactyls engage in battle, watching them soar above and moving from 50 feet above the water to high enough so they looked like planes flying miles over head.
Last year, I had two very different encounters that left me laughing. Swimming squirrels. Both on swims that most humans would be afraid to attempt. These small, fury, grey creatures were on a mission to find acorns. One I was able to get close enough where he came on board. I thought I was doing him a favor. But after about a minute he realized he was more efficient than me paddling and selfing with him. He abruptly leaped off the board, looking like a flying squirrel leaving a high above tree branch.
Moments like this remind me that the act of fishing is not what fishing is really about. A good friend reminded me this summer after landing no fish, two times in a row. I began to lose sight of what we actually were heading out on the water for.
Putting ourselves in nature. To see things that are raw and unique. To test the mind and overcome the perceived expectations that we place on ourselves. And to just be outdoors.
And to quote a good friend. If we were supposed to catch fish every time, it would be called catching. That's my favorite and one I love to use now when I am left with no selfies of my underwater friends.
For those that have wondered why so many of us flock to the water. With our fishing poles. And tackle boxes. Maybe this will shed some light on why fishing, is a watersports adventure.