I was out last weekend on some new water and took two significant crashes in the rocks. You know, slipping and falling down at the edge of the water into a shape like the rocks around you. The kind where you are looking at your feet in the air beside you before you hit the ground. It’s cartoonish. I’m calling them crashes from now on I think. It’s fitting.
When I was younger (or rather more nimble), like many of us, I had what I could describe as “fall control”. That is the ability to either prevent the fall entirely before it fully happens due to quick feet and instant shifting of balance. Or the ability to slow time a bit and have the fall go into “slow motion” so I appeared to be able to protect myself while going down. The old “get your hands out” trick and/or land on your butt. In those days, my flailing body could contort grossly and miraculously put me upright on both feet again. It would conclude with a “that was close”.
I no longer have that level of performance in that skill set. The indestructible young Sailor that would bounce back up and keep going is now forever on R&R. Now I when I bounce it isn’t back up, it’s for a secondary impact. I don’t just get up, I crawl back up. The “that was close” has changed to a “give me a second”.
The two hard spills last weekend put me in an ache all day on Sunday. Yesterday, I took a dump in the Elk River on a large flat rock where I landed on my seat with the secondary impact on my lower back. This was about 15 minutes into the day on the water. I shook it off fine right then knowing it would come back today to get me. Sure enough, my right upper back is tight and sore and my deep breaths are affected. The jarred muscles are not happy.
The sure footed bullish transit through the waters has to change. I need to adopt a new and better way, a safer way. Choosing less adventurous locales is an option that I am sure I’ll be passing on for now. I still enjoy getting out there where most people won’t. So I should be looking to things like felt soled boots all the time, a fine staff to carry along and a environmental cure for rock slime.
What do you do for control and safety on the water? Let’s discuss in the comments…
Originally posted by J. Sparks in the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers Facebook page on August 13, 2015.
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