Our society circles around that word relentlessly. You question whether or not you've accomplished enough throughout your day, week, year. But, who defines an accomplishment.
In social media, even those who value experience over possessions have fallen into this same trap. We compare our adventures, magnitude of mountains, the size of fish... our "experiance" accomplishments.
Jacob and I escaped to the river this week for an entire day. Plenty of coffee and peanut butter sandwiches in tow.
It's was a cold and windy day, the kind of wind that throws your fly back in your face and cold that won't even let the sunshine. Your bones ache, your fingers burn and you've all but lost all feeling in your toes. But you keep on, because you can see all the trout, they're right there.
By the end of the day, we had managed only a couple of mid-sized, stocked, rainbows to the net. Nothing to brag about, nothing to show off, nothing to feel accomplished about. On the ride home, Jacob and I went over the day, fly selection, weather, fronts, etc... and, the accomplishments of the day.
This is what got me thinking.
No, I don't have any phenomenal photos to show off on Instagram. I can't go home and brag about my trophy brown, but does that constitute an unaccomplished day?
Of course not!
Being an accomplished or respected angler had nothing to do with your ability to catch 20, 20-inch trout on every fishing trip. Some days you're going to get "skunked," it happens. If we're totally honest it happens a lot more often than any of us like to admit.
So, here's to troutless days, but going back and knowing that the amount of trout to the net has no constitution on your value as an angler.
Here are to mountains, big and small.
Here's to opting outside and adventuring for yourself and knowing that your adventure is just as magnificent as any other.
Because you chose to adventure, to climb that mountain, to chase that trout, and that, in itself, is a great accomplishment.
Jacob is a fly fishing guide with a passion for conservation and brook trout. He is an accomplished rod builder and restorationist.
Jillian is an outdoor photographer and blogger, using her voice for Public Lands and Cold Water Conservation. She specializes in trying to out fish jacob whenever she puts the camera down.