Some time ago, I was injured while at work and had to make some major changes in my life. After the seeing a lot of specialist, I was left with permanent injuries that I still suffer with today. Some further injury occurred from the treatment from the different doctors which I wont go into except to say they were serious and permanent.
After much thought, I figured that I could still do a lot of the things that I loved and enjoyed, but had to modify just how much and for how long I can do those activities and how much increased pain I am willing to put up with.
I do think that it can be likened to aging and how a person has to change what they can do. There are still a lot of great activities a person can engage in whether injured or aging. Finding out your limitations and keeping within boundaries allows many people to continue enjoying the great outdoors.
Take fly fishing for instance. This sport has traditionally been a stream and river activity in this area although a few people do fly fish in the lakes. I have noticed that my dad is getting older and cant climb up and down the rocky shorelines found around the creeks. He will soon face a decision to either give up fishing or to modify his approach to it. I am not sure yet what he will choose. I know he gets discouraged not being able to wade the streams like he used to and that makes it hard to consistently catch fish. He still gets some, but gets discouraged that he can no longer get in there with the big boys and catch a lot of trout.
While nothing gives a person the thrill that catching fish on a dry fly does, when the time comes a person either changes or quits. There are great lakes in the area that he can catch fish in if he so chooses. I know I prefer fly fishing but can also see that with my injury, I have to really limit the time I spend doing that. It just causes too much pain later and sleepless nights using additional medication to alleviate the pain isn't good either.
While I am injured, I am still able to do things in moderation or with limitations and have to be satisfied with that or simply stay home. There are some creeks here that I believe can probably even be flyfished from a wheelchair and my goal is to identify some of those spots so that everyone can enjoy the sport long into their old age.
Personally, I don't like to catch the trout in the lakes but time afield is the real reason for being out there fishing so have learned to do that more also. Hiking can also be enjoyed but again, every person has to know their limitations and not overdo it. If you once were able to hike 6 miles and can only do 1 or less, don't give up. Just do what you can and make that your goal for the day or week. We tend to be an all or nothing people and that keeps many of us from enjoying the outdoors.