Shaw: “db just tell me what…
Paul: “…other sport can a 62 year old compete in.”
Yeah, we are like a longtime married couple we can, and do finish each others sentences.
Not only compete…but win.
I have covered sports for two decades now and this next fact about this sport, and my roommates, blew my mind.
I took some time late last night and went through all the birthdates of the Elite competitors looking for one number…1977.
Paul fished his first B.A.S.S tournament in 1976.
So I took 1977 and looked for any birth dates past that year…I found 26.
And this is what blew my mind…Paul and Shaw compete against a field of competitors of which, fully a QUARTER of whom WEREN’T BORN when Paul and Shaw first started competing in B.A.S.S. tournaments.
Yet, today, Saturday, May 11th...Paul Elias is in fourth place….Shaw Grigsby is in 16th.
I don’t know how it will shake out at the end, but I have learned this from my roommates that, given the opportunity, at even our age it is possible to be grateful, and to thrive.
“… that will last forever…”
Don’t believe me, listen to my two roommates:
Paul Elias, who in 1982 won the Bassmaster Classic on the very water he is fishing today. “db, I’m blessed, sure it takes longer to heal, and some mornings I’m like a little kid not wanting to go to school, I don’t want to get out of bed, but then, but then (he is looking down at his tanned, gnarled, hands cut up by the fish, especially his thumb where he has Superglued a cut closed) thenwhen I get out on the water and compete against the young guns, both the rookies and those who have been here awhile (again a pause) then, I can’t really explain it, other than to say, I become young, it makes me young out there.”
Shaw Grigsby: “Every year there comes after us, comes to beat us better and better anglers, not to mention the KVD’s and Skeets we have to go against out here. Every day we have to compete against the best, and other than Rick Clunn and Dave Smith, everyone we compete against is younger than we are.”
Paul: “You can’t take a day off out here, golly you can’t take a minute off, a cast off out here but…”
...you can thrive, no matter what age.
Shaw: “…you know, that’s good, we are challenged every day, every minute, and I think it is exactly that challenge that keeps us young…it keeps us mentally alert, it keeps us in good physical shape…”