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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

OUTDOOR TRUTHS: It's Okay To Celebrate Openly

By Gary Miller

I’ve taken some time out of the last few days to fish the river. This is my sport of choice during this time of year. The weather has been perfect and the fish have been cooperating as well.

One morning I felt like Mike Iaconelli who is one of the pros from the Bass Elite Series. Mike is known for his loud screams when he catches a big fish or a fish that gets him in contention to win. He really lets his emotions be seen and heard. I felt the same way, the other day, as I was landing several good fish. The difference in Mike and me is that he is fishing from a $75,000 bass boat and I'm in my 12-foot river jon boat. But the thrill is the same. It doesn’t come from what’s above the water but from what’s below it. It’s that unexpected bite that becomes that unexpected fish, which gives you that unexpected battle. And when it culminates with fish-in-hand, there is nothing else to do but give a big, bold, unashamed scream or high-five, or anything that celebrates the victory.

For some reason many of us are hesitant to openly celebrate. Men are especially reserve when it comes to this. Sometimes we think it’s unbecoming to an adult. Other times we fear celebrating now because of what may lie ahead. It’s the old thought that we shouldn’t get too excited about something until the outcome is certain. We surely can’t enjoy the good times because something bad is just around the corner.

Now I know I’m speaking (writing) to some of you who fall right into this trap. Some of you catch a five-pound bass and shrug it off as if it is commonplace for you. Other times you won’t allow yourself to celebrate because you know there is still a “long way to go.” Let me tell you, you are missing out on some great moments.

In life there are too many tough times. We deal with some trouble, problems, or heartaches, every day. Some are minimal, others are life-changing. We have no idea what tomorrow holds. We may be woken up by an unexpected phone call informing us about an unexpected tragedy. We may be met at work with an unexpected pink slip. We may be notified by our doctor about an unexpected illness. We just never know.

There is one thing I do know however; I know I can celebrate each and every good moment and good day with a bold and unashamed zest. No one can keep me from celebrating with everything I have. And for me, I will choose to milk every present moment of all its praise whether that moment is something as small as landing a bass from the river or something as big as winning the BassMaster Classic.

Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at

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