I see them every single day. Their location is strategic; they’re intentionally placed in a closet where I am sure to encounter them with regularity. They are inanimate objects, but despite having no voice they call my name every time I see them. They are like a dog with a ball in its mouth, staring at you and begging to go outside!
Item #1 – My running shoes. I am a runner. I need to run; my body and mind is dependent upon it. Six days a week I rise at the crack of dawn, throw on the running shoes and head out the door. Running is therapeutic for me; it helps me sort out my thoughts, plan my day and get my endorphins going. There is simply no better way to begin a day than with a run.
Item #2 – My bow. Hanging in the closet right above my running shoes is my compound bow, quiver and arrows. Typically I grab my bow immediately after my run and I get in a short archery practice. Shooting after running is ideal for me. My heart rate is up after the run, so practicing at that time helps simulate hunting conditions by forcing me to focus on a good shot while controlling my breathing. Archery also serves to clear my head. While running there’s a lot of thinking going on and my mind wanders on a number of different subjects. Archery, on the other hand… it causes me to block out all of that and focus my attention on my shot sequence and the task at hand. When I shoot my bow, there is only one thought…FOCUS. Even when I only have time to shoot 10 arrows it’s important for me to do it.
Item #3 – My fly rod. Leaning right inside the corner of the same closet is my fly rod stored in its case. This is my newest outdoor item; I purchased it last fall to begin a renewed pursuit of fly fishing after a 20 year hiatus. Last year I had some late season success while catching some panfish and largemouths on a couple of small lakes and ponds. I enjoy practicing my casts in the back yard and I hope to allocate time this spring to pursuing trout in local rivers.
Every day I encounter these items and it helps me maintain my connection to the outdoors. Even when I can’t use them, I just like seeing them. It’s similar to the guy who keeps a classic car in his garage…when it can’t be driven there is still pleasure in just looking at it. Seeing these items each and every day reminds me that outdoor adventure always awaits.