The modern world has never gone through anything quite like COVID-19. The virus is not only the greatest health scare of our time but also threatens our economy and way of life. It’s impossible to see the good in that, but I think it’s important to try to find something positive whenever and wherever we can.
Positive thinking has always been important to my performance in sports. Whether it was on the high school football field or on the water at a Bass Pro Tour event, I have always tried to keep a positive mental outlook and to focus on what’s going right. I want to keep pushing forward, to put the negative behind me, to control what I can control and to put a positive spin on things.
That’s been tough over the past few weeks, but this coronavirus scare has helped me to realize just how important positive thinking is for me — every single day of my life, not just when wearing an sports uniform or tournament jersey.
Coronavirus has helped me to focus on the good things in my life and even the good things that have come about because our world has been turned upside down. I’m lucky in that my list of positives is a pretty long one. I hope your list is just as long, and that you’ll take some time to create that list, just as I have.
Most importantly, our current situation has brought my family closer together physically than ever before. We’ve always been close and have always enjoyed time together, but the crisis has made it mandatory, and I’d like to think we’re better because of all the time we’ve spent together.
When people are under pressure, you can really learn a lot about them, and that’s been true over the last few weeks. Ever since I met her, I’ve known that my wife, Tuesday, is a strong person, but I’ve seen that strength in action more than ever recently. She’s what holds us together. She is our compass. I may be the guy you see on TV fishing programs, but Tuesday is the person who makes everything possible for me and our family.
This was not news to me. I knew it already in so many ways, but I see it every day in the face of this crisis, and I’m grateful beyond words for it.
I’m also grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend with our children, my parents and my in-laws. They are all wonderful people — young and old — and the time together has given me the opportunity to tell them and show them how much I appreciate them.
I’ve even been able to spend some time on the water with family and friends. I realize that some states have prohibited or discouraged sportfishing, and I hope that’s not the case where you live. I’m grateful for time enjoying the great outdoors. It’s my light at the end of the tunnel and a glimpse of normalcy in an otherwise crazy time.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen more boats on the water with young kids than any other time I can recall. Lots of these folks are fishing, too, and that’s a wonderful thing to see. I know that some boat ramps, some state parks and some tackle shops are closed, but that won’t last forever. I’m hoping they’ll all be open soon.
I know that some of you reading this have lost loved ones and are fighting through the virus right now. Others have lost their jobs and are wondering how you’ll pay your bills. Maybe we’ve never met, but please believe me when I say that I’m thinking about you and praying for you and wishing you the very best.
These are dark times, but they won’t last.
And maybe it takes dark times to really see the light. I know I’m grateful for what I have and hopeful that things will get better for all of us very soon.
Stay well, get well, and let’s be as positive as we can.