Since I was four I have loved to drop a line in any water I find. A river. The ocean. A small stream. A quiet lake. My parents drew the line at roadside sewer drains.
I think my parents considered my early love of fishing as another temporary obsession that would pass -- like reading all I could about dinosaurs, building impossibly large Lego structures or myriad other things I insisted on doing for a week or a month, never to do again. But the months passed into years, activities and passions came and went, some "likes" evolved into "dislikes" and vice versa. And fishing remained, and the passion grew into something I simply considered part of me and part of living.
(Ellenville NY. Summer 2017. Nice sized bass caught with lure at "secret" spot. Released to go on and realize his own future).
As I have gotten older (almost 16 now), life has become pretty full, pretty quickly, and dominated by a few passions -- school, soccer and fishing. I decided to go to a fairly competitive academic school in Manhattan (meaning I keep fishing hours even during the school week, getting up at 5 am to make the trip into the "city"). I also play on a very competitive soccer team with training and games throughout the week.
Fishing is something I do in my own time. No deadlines. No competition (other than me vs. fish -- which we keep very friendly). No pressure. It's anti-pressure. Somehow it not only gives me a break from other things in my life, but makes me enjoy those other things even more. It's a ying to a yang. A counterbalance.
In this day when it seems (based on what my parents tell me) that more than ever is demanded of young children and teenagers, it's really important that we find our counterbalance. A place to unwind, to take a break, to think about what is important and what you really want going forward.
I find that place at the end of a line...
(Pictured -- Lake Placid, NY. Summer 2017. Three bass caught and released from my kayak. A beautiful, cold and clear glacier lake).