When I was just a little girl, my grandpa taught me how to fish. At first, I thought fishing was boring and a waste of my time, so I simply just didn’t like it. I didn’t like the idea of doing the same thing over and over again and waiting and waiting for something to finally happen. But at least I got to spend some good quality time with my grandpa, so I was happy.
All day we paddled up and down the lake looking for new spots where we thought the fish would finally bite. After a while of searching, we finally found our spot! A corner of the lake underneath an old log. I still remember feeling my line pull and yelling to my grandpa that I had a bite! He said, “Quick hook it!” So I pulled as hard as I could and reeled the fish in like my life depended on it. I slid it to the side of the boat where my grandpa took my fish off the hook for me. Staring at my fish with the biggest cheek-to-cheek grin on my face, I remember the pure joy and relief I felt.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why is this girl telling a story about fishing with her grandpa?” Well, when we were driving home that night, he told me, “I brought you out here to teach you a valuable lesson, Emma. I know you are just a little girl, but you already have so many goals and dreams. In life, when you are striving to reach something, you have to prepare, work hard and even sometimes think strategically. Well, this is what you just learned about fishing.”
I understood. When you go out fishing you have to work to get your fish. You have to cast your rod in the perfect spot. You have to tighten up your line and you might even need to give it a little jiggle once in a while. In doing all these things you set yourself up for success. But just because you did everything right doesn’t mean the fish will bite right away. The most important thing is that you are patient and focused, because when your fish does bite, that is your opportunity! You have to hook it right away or else it could swim away and even sometimes take your worm with it.
Now just like in hockey, you have to persevere and stay focused. You must have the proper preparation to put yourself in situations to improve your game and you must make sure that you work really hard. If you do all of that, then you put yourself in a good position for success and to give yourself opportunities, whatever they may be.
The message I want you to take away from my little fishing story is this; Whatever your goals are in life, whether it’s in a sport, school, a career or something else, put meaning into everything you do. This means preparing yourself physically and/or mentally, finding yourself an environment that challenges you for the better and most importantly working hard in anything and everything you do focused on your goals. And remember the most valuable lesson fishing can teach you is to be patient and ready, because when that fish bites or that opportunity presents itself, you have to be ready to hook it and don’t let it swim away.