By , September 14, 2010 10:47 pm

There was a time, not so long ago, when I would laugh and roll my eyes at my parents and assorted relatives during family gatherings and such because the conversations would invariably turn to health issues.

I could recite the medical history for my dad and my uncles at least as well as their respective physicians (much to my dismay and occasional revulsion) and I had a pretty firm grasp of what they each had in their medicine cabinets — all from just sitting down amongst them at the holiday luncheon.

Recently, though, I’ve caught myself more than once making small talk with our clients by discussing health related topics with them.

I’ve found myself excitedly scribbling down the address for some health related website or the name of a joint supplement or digestive formula that they discovered when I’m supposed to be settling up their bill or filling a prescription for their cat or dog.

It’s rather frightening.

I am close to becoming the very thing I used to mock — Who said God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

So… I won’t be describing assorted and sundry aches and pains to y’all nor will I be whining and griping about failing body parts. I don’t want to be one of “those guys.” — You know who I mean; the guy with the tackle kit so crammed with potions, lotions, concoctions and pills that it looks more like a paramedic’s bag than a fishing tackle box … The guy who grunts, groans, moans and creaks so loudly that he scares away even battled-hardened urban Carp … the guy nobody wants to bunk with on fishing trips because the night stand next to his bed is so loaded with meds that he looks like he’s a drug dealer and he takes forty minutes to swallow all his meds before turning the lights out…the guy who both pitches flies and pees with the intensity of a flashlight left on overnight…you know …one of “those guys”.

So, I started researching and looking for better ways to take care of myself and keep my competitive edge in the “no-holds barred world of man vs. fish” and I’ve come across some very interesting tactics.

Take my latest acquisition, for example: Indian Clubs.

Indian what? Indian clubs. They look like skinny bowling pins or those juggling clubs the guys down on Venice Beach toss around to entertain the crowds (and make money). They are definitely low tech but don’t let that fool you. Fitness gurus say these simple clubs have a two or three thousand-year pedigree behind them. In the United States, they were THE fitness tools of choice from about the 1880’s until the 1930’s. They seem to have fallen out of vogue after the introduction of various (and complicated) weight machines and such.

Most people today are not familiar with them except perhaps from seeing them in old movies or portrayed in old ink drawings. You might have dismissed them as a throwback to the classic days of physical fitness but let me tell you, boy, do they work!

I started researching them after I saw them in a fitness catalog. I google-searched and I you-tubed and I checked out a few websites and I became more and more intrigued, so I went ahead and ordered a set along with an introductory dvd. 

I watched the video and read all the stuff I could and started slowly – about ten minutes a day. It’s been about three weeks now and I can honestly say that there is a noticeable difference in how my shoulders feel and how much looser my neck and upper back are after a day on the water. I also feel like the movements have strengthened my wrists while adding flexibility.


If you take the time to learn the various patterns correctly, you will begin to notice the “flaws” in your movement and you will begin to see how consistent work will iron those out. After all, we may fish in the ghetto but that doesn’t mean we want to cast  “ghetto” (as the kids are fond of saying).

Anyway, I am amazed at how simple and enjoyable using these clubs has been. I am amazed at how much better my shoulders and back feel and I am amazed at the improvement in my casting technique – “who’d have thunk”.

So convinced am I in the value of these simple yet elegant fitness tools as effective aids in improving strength and developing smooth shoulder movement (and thus our ability to fish better) that I was able to talk my fishin’ buddy, Sean into linking this website to the site that offers these clubs, Dragon If you do decide to invest in a set of Indian clubs, go slow, have fun and recognize that you will be well on your way to NOT becoming one of “those guys”. You’ll also be well on the way to making sure that you too can practice this addiction called urban fly fishin’ for a long, long time.

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