Never be too proud to catch what Mother Nature gives you.
Waypoints: A Time for Everything
Learning to fish and live life
by Geremy Olson
WayPoint: Never take yourself too seriously. When you do, you build walls that keep away the people that can help you and turn away the people you were meant to help.
It doesn’t matter whether you talk to someone running a nonprofit, sports team, business or anything in-between, you will hear one of two stories. The first and most common is: no one wants to volunteer anymore! Everyone is too busy to get involved in one more thing, kids only want to play with video games and so on. But flip the coin over and you will find some completely different stories. What’s sad is that these stories are rarely told and usually written off as anomalies.
One of the things that these anomalies have in common is they are run by people who don’t take themselves too seriously and they actually care about the people that they interact with. The result is that they set out to meet people’s needs and attract others who catch the vision that has been laid out for them to follow.
I see it all the time with parents who say their kids don’t like to fish. Ask some probing questions and you find a couple of options. Adults that are unsure of their fishing proficiency, dads that only like to target one species of fish, those that had a bad fishing experience growing up and finally, folks who just don’t like the outdoors.
The proof of this is that most people who are reading this will say “Geremy, you don’t know what you’re talking about”.
While at the same time the fastest growing sports amongst teenagers are archery, shooting and fishing.
Why is this?
To be blunt, adults have given kids a bad rap. They have been falsely accused of not caring by the adults listed above.
Flip the coin however and take a group of people who choose to have fun, teach and put others first, people who are not giving up on what they want to do; rather, they have chosen to share with others what they love to do. A group of people who don’t take themselves too seriously and the paradigm changes. When we change our mindset from what we want, what went wrong in the past and what we like to do to what would they like to try, what will they have fun doing, what do they want to learn everything changes. It’s not easy all the time or even perfect but different in a positive way.
One day when my kids were younger, we had the use of a friend’s boat for a couple of days and we went on the hunt for “Good Fish”.
You never know when that moment will come, but when it does are you ready?
After a solid day of not catching any good fish we wound up in a school of skipjacks or gold eyes. We had a double. Then a triple. Then another double. I couldn’t tell you how many fish we caught that day but we all had fun.
When we went to the bait shop the next morning the old timers drinking coffee asked the boys how they had done the day before. The answer was “we caught hundreds of them”.
When one of the old timers found out the boys were talking about skipjacks he muttered “that’s not a fish”.
Looking back at it, I agreed with that comment two days earlier, but not that day. That day on the water started to teach me how important it is to realize when Mother Nature will give us what she wants on somedays and we can’t ruin a positive outdoor experience with our pride. I still get a lot of grief for heading out on the water targeting skipjacks, drum and carp with new anglers so we can have fun learning together.
Experiences like that day on the water with the boys is the reason they love the outdoors. It’s the reason they love hunting and fishing as a family. It’s the environment that’s present in growing organizations and outdoor sports that are growing. Let’s loosen up, have some fun laughing at, and with, each other so we can help change the hearts and minds of those God puts in our lives.
(Geremy Olson grew up in the outdoors. After being burned as a volunteer firefighter, he had to figure out how to teach outdoor skills to his children from a wheelchair while learning to walk. Today he is an inspirational speaker, FCA Outdoors volunteer, tournament director, video producer, wildfire consultant and proud father of the owners of Missouri Secrets Tackle. GOspeaks.live)