Matt Hitterdal

Remember How to Recharge

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recharge by fly fishing
Chris Maxcer recharges by fly fishing at a high mountain lake. (Photo Credit: Matt Hitterdal.)

One of the toughest life lessons isn’t so much learning the lesson, it’s living it. Case in point? Learning how to recharge.

It seems like I forget this lesson time and time again. I just now stumbled upon a photo a buddy took of me fly fishing in the Seven Devils one summer, and I almost overlooked it until I noticed the file name: recharge.jpg.

In today’s hectic world of never-ending work, business travel, and working from your smartphone — from your very own bed at night — finding time to recharge your mind, body, and soul is damn hard. Sometimes it feels impossible.

Which is one reason why photographs are important — to remind you that not only is recharging possible, but to remind you how you do it.

One of the ways I recharge is by fly fishing. It’s a great sport, packed with rhythms, relaxation, challenge, and adrenaline — an amazing mix, really. What other sport lets you get into a relaxing rhythm only to present a challenge for a tough cast to fool a fish and then give you a surge of adrenaline when you connect?

Set Dates to Recharge

The problem with today’s modern world is that there is always something important to do, so it’s almost impossible to simply wake up one Saturday morning and go fishing. Only retired guys get to do this. The way the rest of us get to do it is through advance planning. That means you need to see the action, see the goal, and make it real by setting a date for it.

Better yet, communicate that date far in advance to your friends and family around you.

Last year, my brother and I wanted to hike up to Mount St. Helens — the volcano that erupted in Washington in 1980. Trouble is, you need a permit to hike up to the crater’s rim. And the permits you need to buy in advance. If you wait too long, there won’t be any permits available. And last year, the weekend permits were all gone. So we didn’t go. We missed our chance last year. No volcano recharging for us.

We’re not making the same mistake this year. . . . [Update: Mount St. Helens Trip Report: ‘We Take What the Mountain Gives Us’]

As for you, assuming that you skipped over the trip report or came back, stop right this minute. . . . How are you going to recharge this week? Next week? Next month? You don’t have to have all the answers, just pick one. Put it in your calendar. And when your head is about to explode with to-do stress, take solace — focus on the future and place and activity that will reverse the drain and get you through to the next charge.

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