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CCI Burn Out

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jarmo
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Re: CCI Burn Out

#11

Post by jarmo » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:49 am

I have met some of the most helpful people I have ever seen in the context of the FFI. I have been highly impressed by the combination of level of knowledge, friendliness and open-mindedness in these events.

If my first contact had been the arrogant, know-it-all type, I would have probably walked away too. It is a real shame that this happened to you.

It sounds to me like you have given up on both fishing and casting. I hope either external circumstances or internal pressure will drive you back. You might bump into the right kind of casters, or you could suddenly remember how much fun it is.

You know that you can take actions that will increase the probability of this happening.

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Paul Arden
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Re: CCI Burn Out

#12

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:36 pm

Hi Marshall,

I don’t know who was involved, but sometimes email is a difficult thing. I know that there are times when I’ve written something in jest that has been taken the wrong way. I regularly do instructor theory via email running through the test task be task. I would be very disappointed if it ended up with the result that happened to you.
Questions came quick and my answers were instantly met with incredulity, “how could you possibly be so naive” was the message.
It sounds like they’ve definitely missed the mark here.

I hope you can rediscover your passion for fly fishing. For me it’s my meaning of life. Moments between me and the fish are what matters and I’ve always loved the solitude that fly fishing gives me.

I do experience fly fishing burn out. But then I deal with that by changing the species or the location. https://www.sexyloops.com/index.php/ps/ ... aded-slump

I would hate to lose my passion.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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carlz
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Re: CCI Burn Out

#13

Post by carlz » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:48 pm

Marshall,

I'm sorry you had that experience. Life is too short to do things you don't enjoy. I hope you haven't given up fly-fishing due to this.

One of the questions that my mentor asked was "why do you want to certify", following up with the emphasis that the FFI CI program is a Teaching test. The points about communication and keeping answers short and to the point are one's that have served me well both in certifying and in teaching, but they didn't come easily.

Luckily, I think the FFI CI program has come a long way in standardizing what they are expecting from CI's and for how everyone should behave, but for a long time it really was a "whatever the examiner is expecting" sort of world and too many of the examiners enjoyed being experts, taking personal satisfaction from being better than others.

Thank you for your story. It's a good reminder to not take ourselves too seriously.

Marshall
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Re: CCI Burn Out

#14

Post by Marshall » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:52 pm

The author Steven Pressfield writes about the concept of an artist serving the territory versus the hierarchy. The idea being that as animals we focus our intentions on either the tribal hierarchy or the geographic territory we are claiming. While this idea is obliviously a bit simplistic and like most dichotomies, even if useful ones, most folks will likely find themselves somewhere in between. In the case of my CCI attempt, I think this lens my be illuminating. It seems probable that my focus during the exam prep era was shifting almost entirely to the hierarchy and my place therein. The process of certification is by definition a declaration of one's place in some hierarchy and with it one of humankind's favorite ornaments, a title. Further, the appeal was not actually to the formal FFF hierarchy as it stood, the local MCI was confident enough that I would pass without much issue, but rather an international triumvirate of ultra-qualified instructors.
I am hesitant to pin much of this on my mentors. It's very possible that a combination of circumstances collaborated to result in a worst case scenario. Few hippies ever dropped acid thinking they are going to have a bad trip. Set, setting, anxiety and genetics all have an influence on our experiences. Though the exercise could rightly be categorized a pedantic, I would not use the word arrogant. I was ready for a campfire bullshit session, these guys are fresh from the SL definitions battlefield. We were coming from different places with different understandings and objectives.
I suppose starting this thread was, in a way an appeal to the tribe from a wayward member. My mindset the last week or so while working through of my gear has changed a bit. I am going to refocus on the territory. As Paul suggested, I will focus on a facet of fly casting completely different than I have known in the past.
As dig through this corner of my world that I have not frequented too often recently I am finding little nuggets that are rekindling the love I once shared for casting. My 5wt is on old friend that I haven't had a session with in quite some time, Simon Gawesworth's “Single Handed Spey Casting” is a freaking masterpiece, and I still get lost when I read Mac Brown for more than 20 minutes.
I plan to distill my gear down to the tackle that is essential and put the rest in storage for now. I am looking forward o a new phase in my adventures on the water. Thanks you for your time and replies, I really do appreciate it.
Peace,
Marshall

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Paul Arden
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Re: CCI Burn Out

#15

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:10 am

Teaching fly casting is a funny thing. I wanted to teach fly fishing and figured that learning to teach fly casting would help! I was 24 at the time. There is an interesting body of knowledge within the instructor associations, and a problem can be that once someone has acquired a little bit of niche knowledge it makes them feel special.

However the purpose of teaching is to teach, not to feel special. It shouldn’t be forgotten that we are trying to teach people to catch fish with feathers so they can put them back. It’s a totally pointless and a rather daft thing to do :laugh: But it is fun and anytime we lose the fun in teaching the game of fly fishing them we have failed.

Slightly disturbing for me is the distinction that’s happened between teaching fly casting and teaching fly fishing. It’s led to a curious make up within casting instructor associations.

Anyway, I hope you rediscover your fly fishing passion, Marshall. For me it’s always been the meaning of life. It gives me a constant barrage of extraordinary moments and I would hate to miss out on time I should have spent fishing. Life is not nearly long enough for the amount of fly fishing I really want to do.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Marshall
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Re: CCI Burn Out

#16

Post by Marshall » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:48 pm

As to the question of motivation. “Why are you even doing this?” I can assure everyone that I asked myself this very question multiple times daily throughout the preparation process. With as much self awareness as I could muster the answer that I consistently landed on was something along the lines of: “I genuinely enjoy sharing the art of casting with other folks with the intention of improving their experience on the water.” I had taught tying and casting lessons for years sporadically and I was hoping that a certification would provide a level of accreditation and exposure that would allow me to expand my teaching into something more substantial. I had gone through all of the legal and bureaucratic nonsense to establish an LLC. I had invested in rod wrappers and extra vices for rod building and fly tying lessons. I had even contacted a few of the local retirement communities in hopes to establish regular places to teach. This was not a spur of the moment venture. Certification and teaching under a formal business structure was what I envisioned to be the culmination of years of practice and thousands of hours on the water, fishing, scouting, and guiding. The reason I wrote my initial post was to explore what was for me a devastating implosion and also as a warning to others on the path, there is a possible outcome that is less than fun.
In the years since the implosion, I spend only a few days each year fishing with friends and I rarely cast for castings sake any longer. The skiff, which is an awesome 20 ft Key Hopper built in the early 90's, has been in dry dock for 7 years now. The money I would have to invest to make it seaworthy enough to trust with my kids aboard is better spent on a experienced skipper for the one or two days I may find myself fishing the flats.
The change in my relationship to both casting and fishing happened dramatically as a result of my failure to connect to other humans. This is a fact. If I had full conscious control over all of my own actions and motivations there would be no conflict here, I suppose I would not have been derailed at all. As a human why I am compelled to spend my timing doing one thing and not another is still utterly mysterious to me. Do I miss my time on the water? Absolutely. Do I still have that fire needed to clear large amounts of time each week fishing or casting? No, I don't. Do Still enjoy my time with a fly rod? Yes, but I don't have any expectations, no laser focus on a breaking a line class record or passing a certification exam. Just life with two rapidly growing kids and time on the water when I comes.
Peace,
-Marshall

Geenomad
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Re: CCI Burn Out

#17

Post by Geenomad » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:08 am

Hi Marshall
Like other posters I am sorry you had the experience you describe so well and courageously. When we read a personal story like yours I guess we all underline, figuratively, the parts we identify with most strongly as well as the parts that run contrary to our own experience. With both thoughts in mind, a few intuitive responses from me.

Long ago in a distant life I seriously contemplated turning my passion for fly fishing and casting into a commercial undertaking. I didn't do it primarily because I wasn't prepared to risk killing the passion. Never regretted that decision and in any event the strategic context changed sufficiently within a few years to have killed the business I was contemplating.

I was struck by the idea of tribe hierarchy and territory. The hierarchy and elevation within it have never interested me, not least because the power politics are invariably at the expense of the substance. There are plenty of people who think and behave otherwise. Being Australian I have a blunt summation of them - wankers who are into dominance games. I'm not being at all critical of you here - au contraire. As ever the trick lies in distinguishing between other people's shit and our own. Our own we have to take responsibility for, other people need to do likewise and when they don't we need to deploy biosecurity forces at the border.

The job of a mentor or teacher is not to teach something to everyone but to teach someone something. My impression is that your mentors failed you and not the other way around. Hard to say to what extent onanism was involved.

There are good reasons why fly fishing attracts complex people. I hope some more of them come back to you. :)

Cheers
Mark
"The line of beauty is the result of perfect economy." R. W. Emerson.
https://thecuriousflycaster.com

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Paul Arden
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Re: CCI Burn Out

#18

Post by Paul Arden » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:15 am

It’s stories like this that makes me think there should be a proper syllabus and training course for becoming an instructor. It’s actually pretty mind-blowing than none of the associations have done this yet. It would also help prevent problems like this from occurring.

I’ve had lots of problems in every association. I was starting to think it’s me, but I actually think it’s them! (Or some of them anyway) :D The great thing in Casting Sport is that I’ve actually run into very few problems. I think the difference here is quite simply that if you complete you have to be prepared to lose - so the “casting egos” don’t compete. And we are also very fortunate in that we don’t appear to have people at the Worlds who are bad winners/losers/sportsmen. And I really hope it stays like that!

I know none of that helps you, Marshall. But it in part explains why I’ve moved largely away from instructor training and have moved to competition casting and training.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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bartdezwaan
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Re: CCI Burn Out

#19

Post by bartdezwaan » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:52 am

Paul. For the CI there is a study guide.
If you follow it I think you should be able to pass.

Cheers, Bart

Boisker
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Re: CCI Burn Out

#20

Post by Boisker » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:54 am

It doesn’t matter what the subject really, there are always some asshole teachers :D
Having discussed and toyed with the idea for a couple of years I took the step recently.. I met up with my mentor for the first time 2 weeks ago.
Really great guy, gave me some points the examiners need to see, some things to play with that he thinks would help demonstrate / make it look easier when I am casting/ demonstrating.
But at the end of the session he encouraged me to have a think whether I felt he was the right person for me as my mentor.. no pressure to stay with him etc. Also, suggested whether it’s him or someone else at some point further down the line to book some sessions with other instructors to get a wider view.

I couldn’t have been happier with him as my mentor or how the first session went.

I know this doesn’t help you Marshall, but all the different instructor org’s have no doubt developed since the intervening years and your bad experience... you would hope the above approach is the norm rather than the exception these days :???:

All I need now is for the rain and 40mph winds to ease off so I can get some serious Spey practice :closedeyes:

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