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Just Keep a Line in the Water

by David Laney on July 28, 2021

A wise old fisherman once told me “Fishing is not about always catching fish, sometimes it's about just having a line in the water.” I wrote the salty fellow off as having spent a little too much time alone staring into dark, cold, water. But as I’ve spent a little more time staring at a narrow strip of dusty singletrack under my feet, I've started to realize the salty chap might hold some wisdom.  

In the past 10 days, I’ve spent 9 days cooking outside, eating outside, sleeping outside, bathing in an ice cold creek and generally living outside. I smell bad, I’m sunburned, all my clothes are dirty, my truck is littered with dirt and candy bar wrappers, I’m pretty hungry, tired, and in the words of Napoleon Dynamite “my lips hurt real bad”.

When I look back at my best experiences in the mountains and on the trails, I've noticed a pattern. My best memories are often from the climb out of a rough patch, or coming back from a bad bonk. Somehow a sleepless cold night makes a sunrise even more beautiful, a few days of eating gels and granola bars makes that $5 breakfast burrito taste better than a $50 meal in a fancy restaurant.

Get outside this summer. Even if it's just for a day, or weekend, You won’t always catch a fish. In fact usually you won’t. Some runs will just be a trudge, some hikes will be rainy, some climbs will be tiring and long. Most of your time will be described as type 2 fun. But you won’t regret it. Every once in a while you will feel a tug on that line. The clouds will break, the stars will sparkle, the sunset will break your heart, the sunrise will put it back together.

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