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Fly Fishing is a Family Affair

Written by Tracey L. Stroup   
Monday, 01 June 2009 00:00
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ellness is the big buzzword in the healthcare industry. We all want to be well in our physical, mental, and spiritual health. And as parents, we want the same level of wellness for our children. In order to lay the groundwork for our children’s’ health and wellness, we must teach them healthy habits and relationships, and the balance to make it all work.

If this is the goal, then why do we struggle to relay this vital information? In February 2007, CBS News reported on a study conducted about ‘family time.’ The study by Martin Turcotte, titled “Time spent with family during a typical workday, 1986 to 2005,” reported that families today spend 45 minutes less per day together than they did 20 years earlier. On average, a modern family spends about 3.5 hours a day together. Considering a significant amount of that time is taken up by homework, dinner preparations, phone calls, text messaging, and numerous other distractions, how many of those 210 minutes is quality time? How much of it enhances the health and wellness of our families?

Our society is plagued with the ‘no time’ epidemic. Our schedules and our children’s schedules are packed full of obligations deemed “more important” than spending time with each other. Time investment in the family itself has taken a back seat over the last few decades. As a result, our children are receiving more influence from TV and video games than from their parents and families.

As parents, it is a challenge to provide balance between family and work in such a tough economy. We all want the best for our children. But what is the definition of the “best”? In order to teach the true meaning of health and wellness, we need to clearly define our perspectives and priorities when we are establishing the best life for our children. In the long run, healthy minds, bodies, and spirits are the best gifts you can give. Time spent together and the memories you create are what will stand the test of time and define the next generation’s health and wellness.


Solving the Problem

Economic pressure is a big contributor to decreasing family time. Our society is in a state of financial crisis, and the future can look a bit dismal these days. It’s an understandable impulse to want to work more and ensure the future. Unfortunately, we can’t predict the future, nor can we ensure it. We can’t even guarantee that all our hard work will solidify any financial stability. But we do have control on how we conduct ourselves as parents. We can instill healthy habits and relationships in our children. And we can create memories that, if nothing else, will make us smile through the tough times. In short, my point is simply this:

Go fishing.

Yes, fishing. Fly fishing, to be exact.

So many memories of my youth are with my dad and brother, fishing at the Little J near my hometown. Actually, a more accurate account of the memory would be me falling into the water more often than I ever caught a fish. Even through my family’s bankruptcy, my father, brother, and I still went fishing. My brother always managed to maim himself in some way, requiring stitches…and I, of course, could be counted on to fall in. Ah, the memories.

All kidding aside, the memories and relationships that were made in the process have carried into my adult life. They are a part of the complete health and wellness package—mind, body, and spirit. So much so that I actually married a professional fly-fishing guide! Okay, my meeting and marriage to Eric really had nothing to do with my ‘fishing memories’ and relationshipbuilding with my father, but it was a nice tie-in.

My background is in the health and wellness industry. It has been my way of life and career for the past 25 years. My idea of wellness is a planned workout, good nutrition, healthy thoughts, healthy relationships, and being thankful and dedicated to God: mind, body and spirit in balance. Upon meeting my husband, it was a great surprise to me that the job he did every day had such wonderful wellness concepts and benefits. I soon discovered that fly fishing was not only fun, but it was a wellness activity we could do together!

Health is a balance of mind, body, and spirit. Fly fishing provides the avenue to wellness for all three.