“Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page.”
~ Henry Ward Beecher
Dateline: Aug. 30, 2007
I am standing on a dock at a fishing tournament, it is rainy, windy and cold.
It is five-fifteen in the morning!
I do not fish.
I don’t like being outside.
I am about to climb into/onto a boat that is a surfboard with seats and launch into waves twice the size of the boat.
I am a “co-angler,” which I told my wife was someone who helped the “real-angler” in the boat steer the miniature surfboard or grab the fish.
In the two days I’ve been here I’ve called my bosses at ESPN and resigned twice, neither time was it accepted instead they told me, “It’s just fishing, a couple guys on the dock, whoever gets the first fish wins the case of beer.”
Here’s how I explained it back 11 years ago on ESPN:
“Here's a quick test you can do at home to see if you can be one of the best on bass.
The next time you want to go fishing, gather up all your gear, your favorite hat, that raggedy lucky shirt, go out in the garage and pull the car out.
Then hand your wife the keys.
Because to get to that favorite fishing spot, you're going to sit on the roof of the car, while wifey drives at 70 to 80 mph down a gravel road.
And halfway there I'm going make her spray the windshield wiper fluid with it squirting on high.
Then I'm going to make you STAND UP for the next six to eight hours, casting about every 45 seconds or so, at the end of which I'm going to strap your butt back on top of the car and make your wife RACE home on a pothole filled road. And if she doesn't make it by 3:40 p.m., EXACTLY not one freakin' minute of the whole day will count.
Welcome to the pros, dude.
And for surviving that first event this is exactly what I got: A Tournament Record Angler Page.
It’s been almost 11 years to the day that my first ever Bassmaster Elite Tournament story was published. “Diary of a Bassmaster Virgin" and today, this will be my last regular season Elite story I write.
At the end of this event I will have been at over 100 Elite events, 400-some weigh-ins.
Believe possible when facing impossible.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.