So now that the tournament season for me is over till spring one might ask what am I going to be doing to keep myself busy. There's a lot of things to get caught up on around here and to prepare for next year. The past year I fished a lot of tournaments and had some success but the time on the road took it's toll on my body. It's pretty tough when you are on the road and fishing to stick to your health and fitness goals when you got the competition on your mind. There's a lot of preparation when it comes to tackle and getting to the lake so your time is at a premium while your competing not to mention the pressure to perform and execute in your tournaments. Usually you're just trying to grab something fast and get it down so you can focus on the fishing. Typically my weekends consisted of driving 4 to 7 hours on Friday night after I got off work and not getting to bed till 12am because I still might have had some tackle to prep. Then I would get up around 4 to 5 am and go meet up with my boater to fish a BFL then I would drive back that night. The lack of sleep and time sitting in a car on the road as well as not eating or drinking all day in the boat during competition can wreck havoc on your metabolism.
One of the biggest goals I have during this downtime is to get myself back into great shape. I let that part of my routine slide because I just didn't have much time to hit the gym, work full time, work on my career, and go fishing so something had to give. I kept up a routine of working out an hour or so a couple of times a week just for general health but I'm looking to get back my focus on fitness this winter. What I'm going to be doing is meal prepping and getting in 3 hours a day of working out and training. I know exactly what to eat and how to train it's just a matter of going into the gym and getting it done. Motivation will be the key. I know I had some tournaments this year that I was in a lot of pain and just trying to get through them because I wasn't in the best shape. Competing in tournaments is hard work we are not out there sitting in a lawn chair drinking a cold one waiting on the fish to bite. We are casting heavy baits all day long looking for a couple of bites which can be pretty demanding.
Along with getting in great shape I've got plenty to work on with developing my technical skills for my day job. While I'm not fishing I work as a data analyst. I'll be taking some online classes this winter and forcing myself to learn new programming skills and continue to grow in my career. This is going to take a lot of focus because for the most part some of the learning can be really tedious and not the most interesting until you start to apply it to projects or answering questions that you are really interested in learning. It's something I'll have to do if I want to continue to advance in my career so I'll be buckling down and getting down to business.
One other thing that I'll be working on is securing sponsors for the 2019 season. This past year was a year in which I was just getting back in the game and looking to show what I could do. I had been out of tournament fishing any major circuits for the last 5 or so years since I was working on my advancing in my career. I'm hoping that I can get some support from sponsors for next year and that my talents I've displayed during the past year are worthy of getting some attention from sponsors. I never practiced for a tournament once this year and I managed to pull off 9 top 10's in BFL competition. I'm already thinking about 2019 fishing and it looks to be a bigger year as far tournaments and creating content for my fishing fans. If I could find some sponsors that would be willing to give me some support I know I'll have a great year.
The off-season is also a time for reflection. It's a time when you got to sit down and think about the decisions you made or the missed opportunities that you might have had and think about what you can do to capitalize the next time. I think that it's important to think about things and try and write down things that you can do differently that will make a difference or make yourself better. I'm in no hurry to pick up a fishing rod for a couple of weeks but also at some point I'll be going through tackle and seeing what stuff needs to be cleaned up or thinking about how to better organize for next year.
As one can see I got plenty of things to keep me busy and I'm sure my wife will have a lot of things to add to this list. I'll also try and find some time to relax which is much needed. Stay tuned I'm on my way to the gym!