Ever since landing in Colorado, I've become increasingly intrigued by the endurance sports. Specifically, I've become fascinated with ultra running and if you'd like to narrow it down, even more, The Running of the Burros. Which means I've been pushing my runs longer and higher, although I'm still looking for a neighbor with a burro. Training, you know.
I've figured out that there's an endurance sport for almost every 'outdoorsy' person, mountain, desert or water, there's certainly one for you. But here's the thing, fly-fishing is most certainly not on that list, or so I thought.
A while back, Jacob and I went out into the high country, possibly a bit earlier than we should have. See, there was plenty of snow this past year and it took the rivers a little while to go down. As much as we both thought we knew what 'high water' meant, alas, we did not. It was much like coming to grips with the fact that east coast mountains are not the same as actual mountains. Swallow pride, move on.
"A sports activity by individual—i.e., non team—athletes in which key muscles are exercised at submaximal intensity for prolonged periods of time" - Endurance sport, as defined by Segen's Medical Dictionary
I'm not sure if you've ever stood in 50-degree water up to your waist during flows that border on flood stage, but I would call that "submaximal intensity.'
I look back and wonder why we put ourselves through that, why we attempted to make fly fishing an endurance sport rather than the meditative experience that it naturally is. But, maybe on that day, it was both. I hear people talk about a peace that comes over them after they've hit, and overcome, the proverbial wall. I think I felt that, too, after I clumsily fell over a rock and my legs went numb. Peace. Or, maybe that peace is always there, out in nature, once we realize just how much we can endure.