Sunday October 4 2020. lake Ft. Gibson Oklahoma.
I made a moral decision 15 years ago to give up serious tournament fishing. I was becoming someone I didn't like because I thought winning was all that mattered.
I signed up to fish a fundraiser tournament Oct. 4 that provides college scholarships to students who can't afford college. The first tournament in 3 years. It seemed like a good cause and a chance to have my tackle company represented. I wasn't thinking I could win I just wanted exposure. The night before my wife (and fishing partner for the tournament) and I were getting our stuff together for the next day and it hit me like a truck. I do want to win, I don't know how to compete and not want to win. I slept better than I would have expected, but I was up way early. Ready to go.
Sunday Oct. 4 @ 5:45 a.m. (day of)
I met my brother at our designated meeting spot so he could follow us to the ramp. By now I am amped up like I have a Redbull drip. The drive takes longer than I think it should, but we finally pull in and I see water. The excitement is growing now. We launch the boat and there is 12 minutes until first cast and I swear my clock froze up. The butterflies in my stomach are the size of ostrich's. I ask her how much time do we have? She say's 11 minutes and 30 seconds. This goes on for the next 11 minutes and 30 seconds . I ask every 30 seconds "How much time till we can start"?
The wife is as patient as ever and tells me the time like all the other times, but I know she thinks I have lost my mind. I cant help it. This was my dream as a younger man. To fish for a living. Even though that dream has long since been replaced. For just a few seconds it's like I'm 24 again, Life is still in front of me, This dream of fishing for a living is still possible.
7:30 a.m. finally I make my first cast !!!!!! It's on baby I live for this!!!
7:32 reality sets back in I suck at this tournament fishing !!!!
I sure hope I sell some tackle at the weigh-in.
Moral of this long winded story, life is a road we all travel and it forks often. Those forks define who we are and not who we thought we would be. If what you are doing doesn't give you those butterflies it may not be worth doing after all. Accept the outcome of any contest with grace and humility, but never accept defeat as a definition of who you are get your ass back up and try harder next time....... JB