Pages Navigation Menu

Water is Rough, Now What?


What do you do when the water gets rough?

You have two primary choices when the water gets rough in life, and, it will get rough at times… sometimes very rough.

1) Remove yourself from the situation 

2) Weather the storm by taking ownership of the challenges and seeking resolution where possible

A good analogy comes from my recent fishing trip to Northern Minnesota. We go on this trip every year to recharge with family and catch fish including Walleye and Northern Pike.

While on the lake we have many choices to make. The lake we go to each Summer is big, like 25000 acres big! We have decisions to make with regard to where on the lake we will fish, when we will fish and how we will fish depending on what we decide to fish for on any given day. A lot of decisions!

For example, the time of year, wind and water temperature typically dictate decisions around whether to jig underwater reefs, troll weedbeds or cast the shoreline. Additional decisions include the color of the lure and type of bait used to attract the fish, among others. The strategy used during the decision-making process will greatly influence the results.

Another decision we have to make while fishing is related to weather.  Specifically, what to do when the water gets rough and we encounter bad weather. This can be one of the most important decisions, if not most important. If we make a wrong choice we can get seriously injured. Even worse, there are reported stories of people staying out on the water fishing in thunderstorms and getting killed when struck by lightning.

So, what does this have to do with life and the two primary choices I mentioned above for dealing with challenges?

I will get there, I promise.

This year we had a lot of instability in the weather while on the fishing trip. When you are on the water, bad weather can approach very fast and sometimes you have to make decisions quickly on what to do since it takes time to make it back to shore. Unfortunately, it always seems that those times correspond to really good fishing! I remember one particular day though where a dangerous storm seemed to come out of nowhere.

I happened to catch a picture….

 Fish or Go Home


Just minutes after I captured the picture we encountered 50 mph winds, torrential rain and thunder with lightning. Although the fishing was good, we quickly removed ourselves from the situation for safety.

Now, this can happen in life. Sometimes you just need to remove yourself from an unstable, unsafe situation. For some, besides the obvious, this could even be a destructive relationship or activity not consistent with your values. You get to decide when you need to remove yourself from a situation.

For the other, less inherently dangerous situations, you can choose to take ownership of the challenges and find ways to deal with them or overcome barriers to success. Trust me, my family and I have had our share of challenges and, even worse, close loved ones taken from us much too early. I am sure many can relate. Although it often comes to mind during unfortunate circumstances and challenges, do you actually give up?

No. Life must go on. You try to find ways to rationalize the unthinkable and identify opportunities to improve other situations that are not easy.

Another example from our fishing trip….

 Water White Caps


This picture was taken on the lake on one day with extreme winds in the 50+ mph range. There were very few boats on the water and the locals at our resort said that they have not seen the lake this windy for years and did not recommend going fishing.

Unlike the other scenario, there was no life-threatening thunder or lightning. But, there were heavy waves with white caps on the water.

So, what did we do?

Well, we drove all of the way up to Northern Minnesota to go fishing. We went fishing!

Okay, so it took like an hour to get where we wanted to fish since we had to navigate the lake very slowly and we got very wet with waves crashing over the back of the boat, but we were rewarded with some of the best fishing of the trip! We had to make some adjustments to our technique given the conditions. But, for us, this was a calculated move with limited risk to not let the situation dictate our decision. WE made the decision and controlled our own destiny. We all have similar opportunities in life.

Also similar to life, the rest of the fishing trip involved many “beautiful days on the lake”…

 Calm Lake


And, time with the kids (riding a big walleye)!

 Kabetogama Walleye 2014


What will YOU do the next time the water gets rough?

The following two tabs change content below.
Premiere 5 Star Diamond Independent Beachbody Coach, CEO and Founder of TEAM RAGE, Mike Nowak Fitness, and How Do I Get Ripped, LLC. You are about to learn how I went from out-of-shape busy dad with significant travel, 2 kids and a wife to losing 20 pounds, 16% body fat and 7" off my waist while getting paid more income from home than my Ph.D. in Science & Engineering. Retired my Ph.D. career to focus on FAMILY & FITNESS!


Leave a Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons