When Elena Joy Thursten first contacted me about coming on the show I wasn’t sure why she wanted to come onto a fly fishing podcast. Then I listened to her Tedx Talk and I understood; I knew she was exactly the person that I was looking for to discuss fly fishing and the LGBTQ community. So I was more than happy to invite her and her partner Kristen on to discuss fly fishing, life changes, and how to combat a sense of feeling trapped. If you are ready to hear a story about how fly fishing helped change one person’s life then this is the episode for you.
Outline of This Episode
- [4:15] What is the politically correct way to refer to the community?
- [7:55] How did Kristen get into fly fishing?
- [15:05] Elena has a big story
- [28:18] What is it about being outdoors that awakens someone’s soul?
- [32:12] Being trapped in an office job
- [44:27] Does the LGBTQ community feel underrepresented in the outdoors?
- [52:52] Elena Joy speaks of her divorce
- [58:42] There are some native fish in Arizona
- [1:00:36] A work-life balance discussion
Elena Joy has a big story that is worth hearing
Elena Joy is an LGBTQ activist, inspirational speaker, and founder of the Pride and Joy Foundation. But this wasn’t always her path. Searching for a sense of belonging and right and wrong, Elena joined a faith community at the age of 16. She married at 20 and had 4 kids by the age of 29. She worked hard to be the perfect wife and mother, but after her kids all started school she realized that she wasn’t fulfilled. She began to question her own identity and sought any activity that she could find in which she felt control.
But where does fly fishing fit into the story?
She took up an interest in fly fishing after teaching fishing photography to a friend of hers. After several other people asked her for fishing photography lessons she figured it was time to learn more about the sport. Like many others seeking to learn about fly fishing, she joined a fly fishing club. That’s how she met Kristen. The two became good friends and soon made an emotional connection. Listen to Elena’s story to hear how she was able to overcome her fears and make a fundamental shift in her entire being.
What is it about being outdoors that awakens someone’s soul?
It seems that every person I talk to that spends a significant amount of time outdoors has had a soul-changing experience when they are outside. So I have begun to wonder why this is true? What is it about being outdoors that awakens someone’s soul? Kristen feels that growth happens when we are able to release judgment and in fishing, we are able to release everything. You have to be completely present without the thought of anything else when fishing. This state of being lends itself to moments of awakening. How would you answer this question? Have you had a moment of awakening when enjoying the outdoors?
It’s no secret that Kristen is unhappy with her job, like many people stuck in a 9 to 5 she feels trapped. She has recently started to make some changes to her life that force her to make her freedom a priority. She has cut back her working hours, made more time for fishing, and even forced herself to make new friends. Listen in as Elena, Kristen, and I discuss different ways to solve the problem of feeling trapped indoors. You’ll also hear about fly fishing in the LGBTQ community, conversion therapy, and so much more.
Resources mentioned on this episode
Connect with Elena Joy Thursten
- Elena Joy Experience
- @PrideJoyFoundation on Instagram
Connect With Anchored
- On Instagram: @Anchored_Outdoors
- On Facebook: @AnchoredOutdoorsOfficial
- On YouTube: Anchored with April Vokey