TOM ROWLAND PODCAST
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“Many guides have overuse injuries in their shoulders or back. If you can exercise those muscles and joints when you are not on the water it will help prevent those injuries".”
It may sound silly but the recipe for extending your guiding career 10 more years is simply taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself means that when you are out on the water you are staying properly hydrated. I used to take a gallon of water on the boat with me and I would not get off the boat until I finished the gallon. Hydration is key because it is something that will take its toll after several days of guiding.
Getting proper exercise outside of guiding - many guides have overuse injuries in their shoulders or back. If you can exercise those muscles and joints when you are not on the water it will help prevent those injuries. For example, if all you’re doing is constantly pulling (pulling a boat), and if that is the only exercise you are giving your shoulder then you will get an injury, but if you exercise by pulling up or push-ups to exercise your shoulder in other forms.
But the most important thing you can do for a career spent outside is protect your skin. Especially if you work in the Florida Keys or any tropical environment. The danger is that guides who work in tropical areas become more used to the sun and can deal with it better and causes them to be less cautious and that is where the damage really comes in.
Luckily there have been some huge advancements in the clothing that is available for anglers - they are lighter, dry faster and many include sun protection up to spf 80 or even more. Cotton in my experience is about spf 8 - so the sun will certainly go through that.
I prefer to cover up instead of using chemical sunscreens. I don’t like the way it gets in my eyes or my mouth, and I don’t like having to remember to re-apply. What happens a lot with guides is you will get out there in the dark and the fishing is really good and the next thing you know it’s 11 and you’ve forgotten to apply sunscreen. That’s a lot of sun you’ve just been exposed to. So I like to cover up, specifically using the Buff Gear face protection technology. This has solved a problem that we used to use bandanas for that would leave a lot of exposed parts on your neck. The Buff covers all of it. There are few things that I will turn back around for if I forgot it on the dock, the Buff is one of those things.
So there you have it, take care of yourself, get exercise, protect yourself from the sun and get exercise.