So what do you say when the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Rookie of the Year and All Star tournament winner Hank Cherry invites you to North Carolina for a little fishing? You say “Yes”, of course.
Fishing at the Elite level is not for those who do not believe in themselves. Likewise, they need to not give in to the negativity of others. The top anglers have faith not only in their own ability to catch fish, but in their ability to pursue their dreams. Along the way there will be obstacles, and their belief in themselves will be tested.
Like many professional anglers, Hank Cherry has heard a lot of people say “No” along the way to the top of the sport, and those rejections are just part of the job if you want to fish for a living. As the saying goes; Every “No” is just one step closer to a “Yes”.
Social media is a tool that allows connections with people all around the glob, but some days it just seems to add to the number of “No’s” you hear. Like many other online experiences there can be too much energy focused on the negative things in life and people simply may not realize or care what impact their comments may have on others. So when Cherry was logged into Facebook recently he noticed that one of his long-time followers was feeling discouraged after she announced her desire to fish Pro-Am tournaments as a co-angler. This hit close to home. “Hillary tells me that all she gets is negative feedback when she talks about fishing as a co-angler” . For Cherry, seeing someone that obviously loves to fish and knowing that their ambitions were disrupted by the negative comments of others frustrated him.
Cherry had promised his wife that if he ever had the opportunity to help somebody that has the passion and drive for fishing, like he does, he’d do his best to help them. He seized the opportunity to offer a little support for her dreams. “I think it’s important for people to know that this is possible, that you have to believe. If this is what you want to do, don’t let anybody tell you different. I told her that I heard those exact same things. All I heard was that I was going to fail, I wasn’t good enough, blah blah blah” explained Cherry. He added “It seemed to work out pretty well for me.”
After chatting online with the aspiring angler from Missouri, Cherry asked her if she’d like to come to North Carolina and be his partner at a fishing tournament. In December Hillary Hughes will team up with Cherry at Lake Norman for the 8th Annual Ryan Newman Foundation Annual Charity Fishing Tournament.
Hughes said that she was shocked when he invited her to come to North Carolina to fish with him. “I had posted something about people just doubting me and fishing and saying why waste money”.
She went on to say that Cherry told her that he heard those same things before he started fishing in the Elite Series and that he told her have faith and to believe in herself. Shortly thereafter she received the message asking her to come to North Carolina.
Right now Hillary is looking forward to spending time on the water and learning as much as she can. She says that the thought of winning the tournament is exciting but that just being given this opportunity is more than enough to make her happy.