“Stick with me and I’ll take you places. The ride will be rough, but, the destination will be well worth the journey.”
This is something I said to my girlfriend Ashley Nichols a couple of days ago when I could clearly tell that she was just about over this ride we are on.
I meant every word of it. Things are rough, about as rough as I have had them. We just had Briana about 8 months ago. We moved out of our apartment because we couldn’t afford the rent as it was, but, sure couldn’t afford it with the rent going up.
We were having such a hard time finding a place to live because I’d been late on the rent 10 times in the past three years.
Laying in bed cruising through Craigslist, I get an idea. I came across a 23 foot 5th wheel camping trailer and look over at Ashley and say, “hey, we can buy that and live there for a year or two while we get things together. As soon as I can get a truck that can pull it, we can use it to help us chase these tournaments down as we fight to chase this dream.
She thought it was a wonderful idea. I asked her to contact them and go take a look at it while I was at work the next day. She did, and she loved it.
She came back and I met her after I got off work, went to get the money out of the bank and we headed out to buy us a home. The family who owned it was even nice enough to take it to the local KOA in Nashville and help me set it up.
We were set, all we had to do was sell everything we owned to lean down enough to fit in the trailer. It was going to be great. We were going to get rid of everything we didn’t absolutely need, put a bunch of money in the bank and start living on the cheap and start growing that bank account.
Yeah, that didn’t happen quite the we we planned. The money we brought in from selling everything went back out just as fast as it came in. I had reduced our monthly bills by about $800 a month, yet, when the third time to pay lot rent at the KOA came around, I still wasn’t going to be able to pay it. How does that happen?
So, we decided to have one of our neighbors move the trailer to her parents yard 40 miles away from the KOA and my job. Yeah, that’s right, I have a pretty amazing job, making pretty decent money and still can’t pay my bills.
We’ve been here for about a month or so now, and it seems that we have both gotten so sick of the way things are that it seems like things are slipping and I can’t seem to figure out how to hold on. Apparently, neither can she.
What has my life in such shambles? You may be thinking, “it has to be drugs, or, maybe alcohol”… You would think so. I mean I have known severe drug addicts and alcoholics that could maintain better than this.
Well, no, not drugs, not alcohol.. It’s a dream. A dream of working my way through the ranks of the FLW and, one day, walk across the stage at the Forest Wood Cup as they hand me a check for $500,000.
For the first time in my life I have a dream. I have a dream with goals and a plan to accomplish that goal. I’m working hard at my full time job, I’ve sacrificed most all of my worldly possessions, I am fishing as many tournaments as a co-angler as I can afford (or not even afford). I have a 5 year plan to put in the work that will allow me to work myself up through the ranks.
I have visions of myself and my family traveling around from tournament to tournament. Living in RV parks, and “living the dream”. For those of you who have gone down this road, or have known someone who has, you know what I mean when I say “living the dream”.
I know things will never be easy. Things are going to get a lot tougher before they ever get better and they may only ever get “better” once in a while. I tell you though, I’m good at what I do. I have the work ethic, the stomach, the talent, the heart, and determination to make this work. I also have an amazing woman standing by me that helps keep me on track, shares the dream, and wants this life just as bad as I do. Without those things, I would be lost.
I also have some amazing companies who have enough faith in me to allow me to represent their brand.
Raw Jigs makes the best hand crafted, American made bass catching Jigs on the market today. I have caught so many bass on those Jigs, that some times it can be hard to talk me into putting them down.
Big Bear Fishing Rods – I never knew you could feel a bite so well until I rigged up my Big Bear Rod with a Lews reel full of Seagaur Red Label Floro. Sensitive enough to feel the lightest bite, and backbone enough to pull that fish out of the thickest cover. These hand crafted, American made, rods sport a grip like you have never felt. You have to put one in your hands, when you do, you will never want to use anything else.
Grey Goat Lures – I don’t usually fish with a spinner bait, but, when I do, it’s a Grey Goat Lures spinner bait. They are amazing American hand made baits that I would put
up against anything on the market today.
So, with all of the support that I have, my raw determination, and willingness to make the sacrifices it is going to take, we are going to make it.
I hope you join us for this long bumpy ride, because the destination is going to be well worth the struggle.