We live in a day of instant gratification. A time when people are distracted. People give in to impatience and knee jerk reactions. People have so much information at their fingertips yet can't figure out why their dreams are so unobtainable. People believe if they adhere to some blueprint for life that someone else has recommended that they will succeed and be happy. However, dreams are achieved through determination, hard work and passion. The essential ingredients are literal blood, sweat and tears. These sacrifices are what makes rewards...rewarding.
You can go buy the gear. You can read every fishing magazine and book. You might get lucky but consistent success on the water is a product of true passion. Only on the water do you learn to read currents, to notice a bait ball dimpling the surface, to connect the dots between what you observe around you. Hours will slip by unnoticed. In the fishing world and especially kayak fishing...the book is rewritten time and again. You can achieve as much as you push yourself to achieve. You can dream and you can make your dreams come true. How bad do you want it?
I've spent hours, days and years waiting for the fish of my dreams. In time, I've caught some fish that made it all worth it. Fish so rare they are sacred. Fish that felt like a gift. Most of them have been unexpected. A possible record flathead catfish that bit after the bait had been soaking for eight hours. A pike in the middle of the night in 35 mph winds. A big bass at high noon on the hottest day of summer without a cloud in the sky. I am confident that if an angler pursues his trophy passionately, that one day he will be rewarded with a heart stopper. A dream come true. A memory burned in the mind forever.
Maybe it isn't a fish. Maybe you want to win tournaments. I've been fortunate enough to win some but there have been many I have not won. Sometimes it was close, sometimes it was not...but I never gave up. All it takes is a moment to change everything in a tournament. The only easy part is giving up. Sometimes you sacrifice time, money and energy and you win nothing. You do however, walk away with a learning experience. Make it a positive thing, let failure drive you to do better next time. Believe in yourself and believe that you can win every tournament you fish. Don't let the other guys get in your head. Don't let negative thoughts get in your head. Dream big and do it big.
This kayak fishing is a growing sport that has opened some opportunities to me I thought I would never have. It's not paying my bills but maybe someday it will. For now, it opens the door for lifelong dreams to come true. It makes a difference in my life and the life of others by engaging in a healthy, rewarding sport. I've made great friends and had great times with my family in the kayaks. In a world where everyone wants instant gratification, we learn patience and the value of hard work. When I'm stretching before my lunges, when I'm running uphill and sucking air...I think to myself how I'm going to be ready to pedal my Hobie for miles and make thousands of casts. I'm doing everything I can to win the next tournament, to catch the next big fish...to promote an outdoor lifestyle. I'm making my dreams come true and loving every minute of it. Don't let anyone tell you what you can or can't do, the only one in control of that is you. Don't be among the hordes of people lost in cyberspace and stagnation. Get in your kayak, turn off your phone and tune into nature. If you chase your dreams with determination there will be many rewards along the way and someday ... when that dream comes true, you'll have earned it and it will mean the world to you.