The biggest prize is now out of reach. Your expectations for the Bassmaster Classic were not even close to fulfilled. You are disappointed. You are more disappointed the more you think about it. It is very difficult to pull back and look at the big picture. Once you get to that point, you can see how lucky you really are.
Enough with the sulking you want to do. Thousands upon thousands of anglers around the world would trade places with you in a heartbeat. You know that you worked your butt off just to get to the Classic. That really is a feat in itself. You begin to feel more and more comfortable about conquering your quest to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic. Once you make one Classic, your expectations are now to make it every year, but you are not done with the ride of this one.
When you come off the stage at the Classic in front of thousands of fans and media, you find your family. There is no better feeling than to see my wife and kids. Everyone has their person or people of choice but the feeling is the same. This is a very emotional time. My wife often cries on whatever day I might be on stage then find her. This conjures up feelings for me just thinking about it. This is my favorite part of the Classic, which will change to celebrating with my family if I win one.
Most anglers have more than their significant other to greet them off stage. My mom, dad, and sister make every big event that I fish. They are an awesome support group. Many other pros have a supporting cast. I am also lucky enough to have in-laws, which some other pros also enjoy. Many pros say they could not be successful without some parts of their family but we really do almost all our own work. The support of all our family and friends is what we could not do without.
So now that you are not in the hunt to win, you should enjoy the ride. Enjoy the people that support you. Enjoy the media attention. You deserve it. Enjoy the nice hotel room. Enjoy the driver(s) for the week. Enjoy nice dinners with people you love. Take advantage of meeting potential sponsors. Be sure to take time to speak with all your sponsors that are present. Enjoy why you started the whole process. Get back on the water and fish. Enjoy the challenge of still trying to figure out how to catch a big limit of bass. This is what dreams are made of. Enjoy it.