Learning to overcome fears

or otherwise titled…

How I finally really fished on my own

I am 34 years old… just in case you were wondering… and though I have been fishing many, many times in the past, I never once touched the worm or fish… it was always something  that either my father or uncle did for me. In my mind, worms were disgusting {I remember playing with them as a child though, so I’m not sure when my feelings about them changed} and fish… well, they weren’t much better than worms. Over time, the general dislike of those two creatures turned into a real life fear of them… I didn’t want to touch them or have them touch me.

And though I’ve always fished “like a girl”, I do have to say that I’ve always liked it, because there’s just something entirely relaxing about fishing.

This past weekend, while the kids and I were in Pennsylvania, I finally overcame one of my fears… and then another. It all happened after the kids second successful fishing session {though they really didn’t do much, if any, of the fishing themselves}. The kids had followed my uncle back to the house and my dad and I were the only two left standing by the pond. Noah’s fishing pole had stopped working correctly and my dad was trying to fix it, so I was fishing with Abby’s pink light-up princess pole {it’s really pretty cute}. The overly hungry fish had just stripped the worm off of my hook again, and there I stood waiting for my father to put another one onto it for me. It was then that I realized something… I’m a little boy’s mom. That means that at some point, Noah will probably want me to hold a worm that he’s found… and there is no way that I want to react in a way that would offend him when it happens. With that in mind, I touched an earthworm… and then I picked it up {well to be truthful, it was just part of the worm… I think the other half had already been used as bait} and put the hook through it… wrapped it around the hook and poked it again… and I did that all without gagging!!!

It’s entirely possible that I may have then done a little dance of joy and gloated a little about my most recent accomplishment to my dad. After all of the dancing and gloating was over, it was time to fish again… only my dad had to go get a replacement pole to fish with, since Noah’s was no longer usable. He kindly let me know that I could keep casting the line out, but if a fish were to get hooked while he was gone, I was responsible for setting it free… and then he kindly let me know that I may want to reconsider where I was standing… there are bears in the woods behind the pond and I was standing in a “prime” spot… so I moved as fast as I could away from there!!!

Once I was settled in my new spot, I started casting the line out into the pond. The fish weren’t quite as enthusiastic about the worm as they had been, and it took a few casts before I felt the first nibble… and then a real bite. I started mentally preparing myself for the task ahead, as I realed in my fish… “They aren’t slimy, that’s just a myth”… “remember to comb the top fin down from the front, or it’ll stick you”… “You gave birth to two kids naturally and without drugs, you can take the hook out of a little fish!!!”

To make a long story a little shorter, that picture up there is the picture of me and the first fish that I ever caught and unhooked all by myself… my dad was no where near me when it happened, but you better believe that I called out to him to get him to take the picture!!! I caught two more sunfish and tried to get the hook out of them, but they were a little more complicated and I did need my ear’s help with them. The fish weren’t hitting as well anymore since it was getting late, and it took a while for me to get a bass… but I got one (below) even though the big one got away!

So hear I sit… I’m proud that I took that step and got over my fear and tried something new… and the look in my children’s eyes when the heard about what their mama did was priceless!! Noah even told me that now I can go fishing with him… and I now know that I can and will!

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