Many, many years ago, I thought I caught a trash bag while fishing with my family. Nope. I caught a flounder that made me the Second place Cape May County Flounder Fishing Champion for that summer. I was mentioned in a local newspaper, received an official champion certificate, and a fishing pin to be worn on my non-existent fishing cap. Pretty damn exciting. Beating both of my brothers for Biggest Fish Caught on our trip was amazing. Finding out I was the second place Cape May County champ and watching the looks of disbelief on my brother’s faces was effing awesome (especially since I thought I had caught a trash bag).
Was it fair? I did bait my own hook so by family rules, it did “count”. As evidenced by the photo, I was too scared to hold Freddy the Flounder while on the dock. Notice my hands pinned awkwardly at my sides and the nervous/proud/just-luck-I-guess smile on my face. That is the first mate’s hand holding MY fish in front of me. What I lacked in fish holding, I made up for in bragging enthusiasm. My brothers weren’t amused on the car ride home as I went on and on and on about how cool it was to be the ONLY member of our family to EVER get placed on the HUGE Cape May County fish board.
When I saw this fishy photo today, it made me smile. So proud and jumping around like I had ants in my pants, until I was supposed to hold Freddy, and then I froze. Everyone shocked. I was considered the least “into” fishing and yet I won. Winner, winner chicken (well flounder) dinner. How was that fair?
It wasn’t fair. Like so very many other things in life, it wasn’t fair. And that’s my favorite part of the story. We were on the boat the whole day. No one on the boat had caught anything for awhile. The Captain decided to move so we could fish in another spot. Everyone reeled in their lines lickity-split, except for me. I was teased by both brothers, all of us simultaneously realizing my upper body strength was truly pathetic. As my rod’s hook and weight got closer, it became more and more difficult to reel it in, but the pull didn’t seem like there was a fish on the line (This wasn’t my first time at the rodeo, errr, Atlantic Ocean. I’d caught flounder before). I remember thinking how cool it would be if there REALLY was a fish on my line after all this upper body weakness embarrassment. I was wishing for that magical, “NO WAY”, moment. Everyone was watching and I swear to God it looked like a shadow for a second and then like a big black trashbag being pulled to the surface.
Here’s what you need to know about flounder fishing. You do NOT yank the line into the boat with the fish on the end. Big No-No. It won’t stay on the hook (I’ll spare you the details). You get the fish to the surface and then scoop with a net. As the fish disguised as a trashbag came to the surface, the 1st mate yelled to me to stop. Give me a break, dude. My brothers were still mocking my lack of muscle tone.
“You caught a BIG one!!”
Huh? I did?
Nope, not fair. Luck. And that’s why if you’ve made it this far in my fishing story, I implore you to read Melissa’s post from Diabetes Daily, “Diabetes Complications are Complicated” (If you haven’t already read it five times like I have). She absolutely nails it and touches on things that have been on my mind… guilty and frightened…yep, nails it. Diabetes complications… nope, not fair… who is lucky?
Today there was a response to Melissa’s post (also on Diabetes Daily) from Marina, “To LOVE A Thing That’s Always Trying To Kill You: Diabetes“. Wow and WOW. Again, this touches on so much of where my mind wonders, and the very core of the place I have been struggling for months, “I am worth this struggle”…?
I’ve read Marianna’s post 3 times today and everytime, my eyes tend to get a little watery (allergies?) when I reach, “I am worth this struggle”…. This is my struggle, plain and simple. If this mantra in any way can lift some of the weight of all this…. that anchor in my mind that seems a little heavier these days, I will gladly repeat this mantra to myself a hundred times a day.
I’ve got much more upper body strength these days. I need to reel in that anchor a little bit now or I will sink. I am worth this struggle. How very beautiful.