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Ronan's report

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

I’m back on regular visits to the Physical Therapist again. This time thanks to a shoulder injury (casting shoulder) that I got while trying to go a little bit too big on my skis. I remarked to someone the other day that some people go to the gym, but I go to PT. It was a joke, but not far from the truth.

Really, I don’t mind going to PT. I enjoy it actually. I enjoy it because I get to hang out with the PT, and inevitably learn something about the human body, or at the very least hear a good story during my treatments. It’s the injuries I could do without.

Today, as I was completing a set of strengthening exercises, it crossed my mind that the things that make a really good Physical Therapist also are the things that make a good fishing guide.

Both are there for a reason, but that reason seems to vary with the moment. Both guides and PTs need to be extremely knowledgeable. PTs about the complex system that is the human body, how it functions, is injured, and how it heals. They know the techniques, tools, and exercises to make healing happen. Good guides know their water, the fish, and the weather just as intimately. And they know the techniques that put the right fly in the right place at the right time. The parallels continue in that both PTs and fishing guides need to be good teachers. They need to be able to explain the hows and whys of their respective pursuit. They need to teach their clients how to do what they need to do to heal, recover, hook, and land. Usually that also means teaching them something about the way the human body works or the way a fish operates within an ecosystem. The best PTs and fishing guides measure their success on how well they have taught their clients to take care of themselves and succeed on their own, without continued support. And those that are most enjoyable to spend time with are also the ones who are best at filling the voids – whether it is those hours between steelhead or during those 5 minutes of ultrasound treatment - with pleasant and interesting conversation, stories, and laughs.

I’m wondering if there are other professions that share so many similarities with being a fishing guide. If you can think of any, take it to the Board.

Take Care and Fish On,

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