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Fishing, 10,000 Hours and Elder Law

I had long been intrigued with fly fishing. And then I did it and I was “hooked”.

I was not a novice to fishing. I grew up catching channel cat in the Smoky Hill River, and bass fishing in ponds. I had a lot of confidence.

Fly fishing was a challenge, however. Given my background, I started to try “learning” as much as I could: videos; books; and practicing. I became very “educated” in fly fighting – except I was not catching fish.

I hired a young guide. I watched everything he did. I took notes. I asked questions. We caught a few fish.

And then I tried it on my own. While I was better, I was still not catching fish like I did when I was with my young guide.

One day I met a guide that other guides called a “fish whisperer”. He could catch fish anywhere, anytime, on anything. Juan was amazing. He would get that look in his eye as he would get focused on where he thought the next big fish laid. I came away fishing with Juan amazed, but still I struggled. Something registered in the back of mind – how the other guides told me how many hours, days and years that Juan had fished; how he absorbed everything.

There is a saying that you don’t become an expert until you have spent 10,000 hours at your craft. I thought, how true.

One of my law partners, Jenny Walters, came to me right out of law school. She has been with me for over ten years. As I was thinking about Juan and the 10,000 hours, I started thinking about how Jenny has grown into an expert after practicing 10,000 hours multiple times.

I realized how through the years she has become an expert in the field of elder law. It is what she has done for 12 years. It has been her focus.

It wasn’t about watching videos, or reading books, or even following my lead. It was getting out there and learning. It was getting to the 10,000 hours multiple times over.

I know that if I became chronically ill, if I was battling some health issues, I would want to talk with someone who had 10,000 hours in elder law. Whether I was concerned about how to pay for care, stay at home, protect my property, or to make sure that my wife was going to be okay, I would want someone who was objective and an expert. I would want someone like Jenny to guide me through that process.

I would want someone to help me who did it full-time, all the time and not part-time.

I would truly want someone who was an elder law whisperer.


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