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Birds in the Backyard

I have a confession to make. I hate birds. Not dislike. Hate. Sorry to all you bird lovers. Quite honestly, they scare me to death. Yes, even the little ones—especially the little ones. They are prone to doing nasty things. Like squawking, not paying attention to where they are flying, attempting to make nests in my hair, flapping their feathery wings near my ears, and pecking at me with their little sturdy beaks.

bird2Lately, the birds have assembled in my backyard. What’s the big allure? It’s a lone crabapple tree with shriveled up apples the size of raisins that turn out to be the perfect size to insert into those little sturdy beaks. A robin has made her permanent home in the tree where she sits all day chirping and pooping on my patio. This incessant chirping attracts birds from all over Washoe County, especially the grackles. They aggressively invade the tree and the robin is visibly upset which brings on more bird sounds, flapping of wings, and good old fashioned bird fights.

Why am I telling you this? I’m an outdoor enthusiast. The outdoors is my gym. I’m happiest when I am outdoors and I crave sunshine. That’s why I moved to Nevada where it is sunny 252 days a year. But each and every time I step out that door I’m confronted with my biggest fear – birds! But, guess what? I do it anyway. Why? Why not!

bird1What’s even scarier about birds in the backyard? It’s ignoring your hopes and dreams because you are afraid to get started. Maybe you don’t want to make a fool of yourself. Or let others down. Maybe it’s signing up for your first race or a triathlon, joining a running group, Crossfit box, or even simply dusting off that gym pass and walking through those doors to the fitness center. Whatever it is, take action. Start with baby steps.

I had the courage to start a little late in life. At age 42, I began running around the neighborhood (in secret of course!) I did not come from athletic greatness. In third grade at a city softball tournament a woman shouted from the bleachers, “Look, that girl can’t run!” when I actually HIT the ball and was running for first base. But, guess what? Whoever this woman was, she was wrong. I’ve run 13 marathons in 8 years and am still counting. I might be slow, but I give it all I’ve got.

runalongthetruckeeriverNow it’s your turn. What is the bird in the backyard you want to conquer? Chances are, it’s not birds (like me). Figure it out and then go after it! A great way to start is to bring along a friend (it's a must for me). You’ve only got one life to live.


… Hard Work and Dedication Pay Off

I’m late. The horn sounded. I’m not at my beat. It’s over, I’m going to finish in last. Pull it together Coach, what would you tell your team? Do your thing. Finish strong. Focus. Outwork.

Calm down. Cast. Watch. Focus. There’s the pull. Set the hook. Fish on! Patience. Stay focused. Land it. now SCREAM!!! I have just landed the biggest fish of the event and it will put me in the top 10. Rejuvenated. Excitement. Proud.

My name is Jason Mattick, and I am a professional fly angler, high school math teacher, head football coach, father and husband. To say...

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