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Age and stability!

Age and stability!

Postby tejplunkett » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:23 pm

Hello everyone,
Im not sure how many of you can relate to this but, heres what Im experiencing. Right up until my middle 50s i still could run, jump, climb, etc. then I had a heart attack and that all changed! That was about 6 years ago and thru meds and an operation im doing pretty good now. However, i feel the weakness in my muscles, esp my hips and legs. I still get winded easily and my balance is unsure.
I watch the great Tenkara videos of these guys climbing rocks, boulders, crossing rivers, steams in waders with water rushing by them sometimes waist high and my youthful mind goes OH YEAH BABY! (but when i actualy get out there my body goes, ARE YOU KIDDING!?) I know this much through multiple cuts and bruises, i look down a small or steep ravine to the river below and say to myself, "self. i know i can fall down there the question is, can i climb back up?!"
I now take 2 walking sticks,(one of them is a strong hickory shovel handel with a large bike hook screwed in one end to help me reach tree roots, branches, etc to help me pull myself up) I find i can do some shallow wading in gravel and small rocks if i go slow. I was out the other day with a young Tenkara fishing buddy in a rather uphill, boulder strewn river. It was beatuiful! Most of the time, all i could do was watch him wade, jump, climb. I enjoyed that as much as if i was him! Im not complaining. I have had my youthful days and have settled in to my age (If wishes were fishes, we'd all have a fry!) Flat lakes, ponds, low grade rivers are my hunting grounds now. When I get feeling low i just go to this site and look at your pics and videos and pretend im right beside you, joy!
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Re: Age and stability!

Postby adventureR » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:30 am

Having just landed on my head recently while chasing fish, I agree. Then not being able to visit this site for about a week too. It's nice to enjoy others fishing exploits here. Thanks to all contributors. :D
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Re: Age and stability!

Postby tsegelke » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:39 pm

I am finding there is a lot more rivers, and places that I am not willing to scramble down to, or cross. I haven't let it stop me yet, but am finding my new found patience is making me a more skillful and successful fisherman.
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Re: Age and stability!

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:58 pm

Thanks for sharing that. I am sorry about the heart attack and changes afterwards. I know that one day I won't be able to do the things I do today, and it is good to be reminded of how vulnerable we all are. I'm happy to hear you can enjoy watching as much as doing, other people can have a much more negative attitude.
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Re: Age and stability!

Postby Karl Klavon » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:06 am

As a still backpacking Tenkara fly fisherman who is rapidly approaching his 70th birthday faster than ever before, I can really relate to all the things you have just talked about. I am experiencing those same difficulties but, luckily, to a somewhat lesser degree than you are.

As I see it the best thing you can do is to do some kind of training routine on a daily basis, like walking with your poles for 2 or 3 miles a day on ungraded and varied surfaces if you can find them close to home. Bicycle riding is also great. It helps with your balance and makes the muscles stronger you need to climb up rocks and mountains. If you live where there is snow or can drive to it, try snowshoeing and or cross-country skiing. Keeping active over the winter will keep you in shape for the coming fishing season next the spring.

Another thing to consider is taking up pond and lake fly fishing, either from the bank, a float tube or a boat. Getting out on the water eliminates most of the rough terrain problems of getting around in fishing lake shores, and there are plenty of good sized fish to be caught in stillwaters, usually bigger fish than what you can catch in small streams. And stillwater Tenkara has its own unique charms you will come to eventually appreciate if you give it a chance. It is not a delightful small stream to be sure, but lakes are a lot easier to handle for terrain challenged anglers who want to keep fishing in their lives.
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Re: Age and stability!

Postby achilles38 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:15 am

Stability and balance are two of the big changes that come with aging. Like Karl said, some type of training greatly helps mitigate this process. Using your walking sticks to practice and build up strength and conditioning will greatly help with stability and balance. My dad was an avid hiker and fisherman, taught my brothers and me to hike and fish, and he has some of the same issues, plus inner ear damage that compounded everything else. He works out constantly, plays handball 3-4X per week, push ups and sit ups, is in his mid 60s,and can probably outhike most people in their 30s-40s. The workouts are what keep everything working pretty well. However, he tends to watch a lot more now, especially when all the grandkids are fishing, and seems to get more enjoyment out of watching them then I've ever seen him get catching fish. Reminds me of fishing when my brothers and I were kids. I would say his fishing has evolved over the past 20 years. He has taken some big falls that were dangerous and potentially deadly over the last 5 years, so I've noticed him taking safer routes and skipping places he used to fish.
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Re: Age and stability!

Postby GregM » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:12 am

"He has taken some big falls that were dangerous and potentially deadly..."

Been there, done that. Eight feet into a dry gulch, head first. Just fell over.

Coincidentally, a few months later there was an article about a young man's father simply falling over. It struck a cord. It turns out that as we age (engage in less challenging activities) the balance sensors in our feet (proprioceptors) can become disconnected from our brain and need to be re-trained and then continually refreshed. And I was/am an active hiker, road and mountain biker.

I started by standing on one leg on a "stability pillow" (google is your friend) for 1 to 3 minutes, then rotating my foot clockwise, then counter clockwise. Then with my pinkie on the wall, doing it with my eyes closed. There was a dramatic improvement in a matter of weeks.

Any good sports oriented PT can show you the drill and print the exercises.

Don't wait for the wake-up call.
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Re: Age and stability!

Postby Stan Wright » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:35 am

:D Been there and done that... I'm there now. :D
So far this year I've lost 37 pounds... (still have a way to go)
With Weight Watchers we can eat anything we want... just write it down and keep track)
I have a personal fitness trainer... She has really helped the balance, strength and stamina.
I'm not going on those rough hikes to distant streams,
but on the other hand I now feel I can do things that a year ago I had totally given up on ever being able to try again.
That's what's great about a web site like this... we can all share your adventures. Keep posting those stories and pictures.
( but some of those hikes are still out of the question for me )
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Why let the truth stand in the way of a good fish story.
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Re: Age and stability!

Postby tejplunkett » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:42 am

Hey everyone, Im so moved by all the comments and sound advice! Now i know im not alone, that theres positive physical and mental exercises to help me. You folks are AWESOME! THANKS, Tim :D
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Re: Age and stability!

Postby B F Larson » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:00 pm

I am a little late on this but I have had your experiance, perhaps not as debilitating. Age is more a matter of conditioning and getting sick for a length of time is very hard on conditioning. Yes, watch your weight, but #1, work on conditioning. Overall body strength helps balance. It is never to late to start.
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