Falling into place

Yesterday I talked a lot about the weather and how it wasn't what I wanted. Today I want to talk about how, despite the weather, things are beginning to fall into place for me ... at least I think so.

Vegas being born on Wednesday is huge. I really didn't say enough about that yesterday. I wanted to be home for the birth, and it worked out that way. As hard as it was to get on that plane Thursday morning to come down here and start practice on Friday, it would have been worse if I was waiting for him to enter this world.

It did change some of my plans, however. At first we said that if he was born, and if I was in the hunt come Sunday, Becky would fly down here with him for the final weigh-in. The doctor put the kibosh on that this morning. She told Becky absolutely not. So, that's no longer an option.

Instead, after the Classic I'm going to take my boat down to a friend's house in Orlando and then fly home for a couple of weeks. When it's time to start the Elite Series, we'll all fly down as a family and go to work. It's not what we had planned but it's at least something concrete we can plan on doing.

That's a big help in something like this. The Classic is a fishing tournament but it's much more than that. We (anglers) are committed almost every minute of every day. That means everything that we don't have to think about except catching bass is a plus. This evening is a good example of what I'm talking about.

I'm in the hotel right now doing this column. At the same time I'm trying to eat a salad and a few chicken fingers. One minute after I get this done I have to leave for a publicity appearance. When that's over — late tonight — I have to autograph 1,500 books that I didn't get signed back home. That'll probably take all night, literally all night.

Tomorrow I have more publicity appearances. If I'm lucky, I'll get to bed at a reasonable hour. In between all this, I'm a new father; I want to talk to my wife and see my baby. Add to that the fact that I still need to work on a couple of fishing scenarios that might happen and you see how it goes.

As messed up as that sounds, I really feel like things are starting to fall into place. Being too busy is normal for me. It's the way things are in this business, and I'm glad of it. I could be in a position where I had lots of free time — no sponsors and no Classic appearance.

Tomorrow I'll talk a little about my first three days of practice and why I now think Wednesday will be critical. This week's a great learning opportunity.

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