Keeping things in perspective

By the time you read this I'll be on the water fishing. Hopefully I'll be culling big bass. Here's the deal: I'm really pumped up about this Classic. I can't say I've ever felt this way. I mean it's really great. When I said a couple of blogs ago that things were falling into place I meant it.

Yesterday was Media Day. It's a great example of what I'm talking about. I did a ton of interviews, ate a lot of super-good food and got to see a lot of old friends from the media that I haven't seen in over a year. That's wonderful. It's why I'm in this sport. Honestly, I loved every minute of it.

And you know from the prior blogs that I feel pretty good about my chances. In fact, I feel better than I did in 2003 down here. If I don't make a wrong turn, have mechanical problems, run into the mud, find another angler sitting on my spot or mess up with my fueling stops I should be OK. But, if any of those things happen, I'll be OK with that, too.

Before you call me crazy I suggest you hear me out. I have a wonderful wife that I love dearly and who loves me. I have three wonderful kids that I love dearly and who love me. I have a good fishing career that lets me earn enough money to support them all. How bad could a bad Classic be in the grand scheme of things? About the worst of it would be the disappointment after feeling so good about things.

Do I want to feel the sting of that disappointment? No, of course not. I want to win, to put another notch in my belt — just like every other angler wants to do who qualified this year. I'll never deny any of those thoughts.

If it doesn't happen, though, I'll still be just fine. I'll go home to a happy house, surrounded by loved ones, have some family fun and then move on to the first Elite Event. My life will be good, my world solid. There's no way to call that anything but great.

As you can tell I feel really strong right now. My head is in the right place. The only thing I'm having trouble with is that darn hawk that sits on my shoulder. He keeps pointing out that the Classic is my favorite tournament. That the Classic is really a one show event. There are, and never will be, any tomorrows, false thoughts about going all out, or second chances. It's all or nothing.

I'm telling you guys he's driving me crazy with all his squawking and screeching. There's no denying the truth of what he says. It reminds me of how he was acting in 2003. I'm thinking the only way to shut him up is to go out and win this thing.

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