Generally speaking, I am a positive and happy guy. I really believe that for the most part, we are all as happy as we choose to be.
It is a good exercise to try and find the positives in every situation, and I certainly do love exercise! That being said, there were times this past month when I struggled to see all of the positives.
In early February, my paternal grandfather passed away. I was very close to him and it was the first death in my family in almost two decades. Often I deal with my emotions through running; the cathartic processes of breaking my body down, resting and coming back stronger not only makes me better physically but also helps me mentally and spiritually.
Normally I would’ve had a good cry, laced up my shoes, and hammered a ten miler. Problem is, I have been dealing with a small tear in my left calf for most of the last month. Unable to run, and overwhelmed with anxiety and emotion I made a call to my dad.
The plan was for us to take a quick vacation; a break from work, from social media, from family obligations, and everything weighing us down in the real world. Typically when my dad and I vacation we bring our fishing rods and this trip was no exception.
Conveniently located equidistant from Seattle (my home) and Boise (Dad’s home) is the Tri-Cities area of central Washington. Roughly a four-hour drive for each of us, my dad and I met in Pasco to explore a stretch of the Columbia river known for great steelhead fishing this time of year.
As a very difficult month was coming to an end, my dad and I were able to spend some time together in the only church we have ever known, nature. On an unusually warm winter day, we meticulously worked a mile of fast flowing water with our fly rods. The rhythmic and purposeful nature of casting is the only thing I have found that adequately matches the meditative qualities of running.
Though catching fish is often times not the primary goal of our trips, there is certainly a sense of disappointment if we go home empty handed. Fortunately, on this trip, our hard work paid off.
As the trip came to an end I felt refreshed, ready to put the month of February behind me. I gave my dad a hug and we jumped back into our cars, destined for our respective homes. Two hundred mile drives immediately following ten hours of fishing can be tough unless you have a little help from a compressed energy source.
Today marks the final day of February, and though it was a difficult month in many ways, it was also very wonderful. My body and mind are well rested and I am now ready to begin the long push for the 2016 Olympic Games.