For those of you that follow this blog, I hope you remember the one about being a rookie. As a reminder I had joined a bass fishing club and relived the feeling of being a rookie. The club meets once a month and fishes on the different lakes that surround the area. This usually means that from 7 AM to 3 PM each member of the club fishes alone or with another person in the boat on a particular lake. At the end of the day at 3 PM all the members meet at a particular boat ramp and they weigh the fish that they caught that day. There are certain rules put on by the state that mandate that certain fish must meet minimum length requirements and the number of fish caught by one angler.
So at 3 PM all the boats meet at a particular boat ramp and the scales are set up by a pre-designated judge to be weighed- in. No matter what the weather conditions or how many fish were caught this gathering of men and women usually results in some fish tales. The mood at each weigh- in is usually a festive occasion filled with laughter and lighthearted conversations.
Because I am a rookie and I have not fished the lakes on prior occasions, I usually have gone to the weigh- in without any fish to weigh in. I and another new member of the club would usually watch the many different anglers as they pulled out the catch from their boat’s live wells and proudly march them up to the weigh station and the judge would enter the results into the clubs official weigh- in book. If you have never watched on television the reaction of the people attending the weigh- in of the professional bass fishing tournament, then it will be hard to understand that the same reactions happen at a small club event.
Well, this month I made it to the weigh- in. Even though I only had one fish to weigh-in I was very excited to do so. I proudly went to my boat and placed the one fish into a large plastic bag that contained enough water for the fish to remain alive. When I got to the judges scales I proudly reached into my bag and pulled out a large mouth bass. The judge quickly placed the fish on an electronic scale and announced to me and the others that the bass weighed 2.43 lbs. I was thrilled; I knew that it was not the largest bass caught that day. But the fact that I actually got to take a fish to the scales made me feel like a young man again. As I walked by the other members to weigh the fish, several of the other members would comment on how nice the fish looked. It was a moment of pride.
I mention all of this because of a bigger thought. Many of us in our youth and as we grew older would take on a challenge in life. A good example is the feeling that you have when you join a team. Let’s say you join the baseball team. The first part of the excitement is that you were accepted into the team. Then you wait for your opportunity to play for the team. It is no fun to just sit on the bench and watch others play. Once that you get the opportunity to play you anticipate the first time you either hit the ball and make it to base or catch the ball to make an out. It is great to be a member of the team. It is even greater when you get to play. Let’s say you join the business team and for a while the office trains you on how to perform a task. Let’s say it is on how to conduct a sales meeting. You finally get your first chance to conduct that meeting and whether you create sales or not the feeling that you got is a positive one. That feeling is only good for one time. The next time you need to produce some sales. Then it happens, you conduct a meeting and you generate some sales. Like when you go to bat and hit the ball and you get on base. What a wonderful feeling when these events happened.
My thought is that you need to get out and get involved in something. Even though there’s no guarantee that you will be good at it. As a man once said, it’s the chase that makes it all worthwhile. The other part of this thought is that you do not give up; you just keep trying and trying. It will mean a lot to the other people in your group, your family or your friends. But it will mean a lot more to you and how you feel about yourself. There’s a lot to be said for the fact that you chose to pursue a goal and that you committed to pursuing the goal. That doesn’t always mean you reach that goal, but you need to pursue it or chase it.
I worried that, for some reason, I would not be able to perform properly (catch a weigh-in fish) under tournament conditions. In the first tournaments I did not catch that fish. But I enjoyed fishing the tournament anyway. But I have to admit when I caught that fish at about 11 AM, I knew I was going to the weigh-in, my whole day brightened up. There was some sort of weight that was lifted from my shoulders just knowing that I would be able to go to the judge and weigh-in my fish.
I am sure that I will still be nervous each time that I participate in a tournament. I also imagine that I will not feel as happy as I did going to the very first weigh-in. I might achieve such happiness when I win my first tournament. All in all, I am glad that at least I went out and participated. I hope that your circumstances in life will give you an opportunity to do the same.