This I Believe

Tim - Lagrang, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Best Served Chilled

From Monopoly to jump roping, I believe that life is better when you stay committed to your goals. Last President’s Day, I went into the weekend with a desire to go ice-fishing that I had had since last Christmas. My dad had gotten me an ice auger and a fishing rod that Christmas, and since I already enjoyed fishing, I was excited and ready to sit in an ice shanty with a mug of hot chocolate in my mittens.

But ice fishing was not as easy as the old lumberjacks in the movies made it seem. First of all, I needed ice. For all of winter vacation, the water would not freeze because of the summer like temperatures. Disappointed, I waited for my chance to act like an Eskimo. About a month later, I finally got my chance to go back to Michigan due to Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Company. The first day of the weekend, the wind was too strong for me to go fishing. My opportunity finally came the next day. The wind subsided and the sun hid long enough for me to assemble my gear and go fishing without the ice melting, and then drowning me. Dragging a sled full of buckets, lanterns, augers, fishing poles, and fishing bait behind me, I trudged onto the frozen lake. I carefully drilled a hole in the ice with my auger, and then ladled the slush out of the hole, freezing my gloves in the process. I sat on an upside down, cracked 5 gallon bucket near to the hole, clutching a ridiculously small fishing pole in my icy gloves all the while. My toes felt like they were falling off, and the idea of catching a fish in the vast frozen darkness seemed even sillier than my fishing pole. The wind managed to sneak through all three of my jackets and both pairs of my socks, and I wondered how hard it would be to move to Arkansas.

The sun continued to drop, and I still did not have a fish to show for my hardships. I thought about putting an end to my misery, and extinguishing my already low lantern, but I kept at it in hopes of fulfilling my goal. While I was daydreaming about hot chocolate, my rod tip twitched. I did not think that it was possible, but I was about to catch a fish! Excited, I jumped to my knees and grabbed the fish with my quivering hands. My disappointment disappeared as I let the fish go back into the black water. Had I quit earlier, I would not have realized my longstanding goal. I would have gone back to my house the same as when I had left, except much colder and much less happy; yet with time and patience, I managed to salvage my weekend and realize my ambitions.