Sleep never comes easy when you want it
After saying bye to Joe and Jacqui I went back home to prepare myself for another day of fishing. I got home, washed off all the sweat and bait that one usually accumulates from fishing at Bungsamran for a whole day and put all the necessary gear into the car before going to sleep as to avoid having to scavenge through my pile of fishing treasures at 4am in the morning. By 11pm, I was in bed. I closed my eyes and soon found myself in a very familiar situation that every fisherman goes through every now and again: sleeplessness due to excitement.
Screw it, I’ll just watch some porn and read the news until I get sleepy.
Funny thing about sleep, the more you try to do it, the harder it becomes. By 4am, I was up before my alarm clock. So much for sleep. The only thing close to sleeping I did was close my eyes and stay stationary for a few minutes at a time. On Saturday I woke up at 7am. At 4am on a Sunday I had been awake for 19 hours and about to embark on an hour and a half drive to Bang Prah Reservoir.
The trick to staying awake
I have on several occasions while driving found myself falling into what is known as a “micro sleep”. It’s extremely dangerous. Your eyes stay open but you are already in dreamland and if you don’t snap out of it soon then say bye-bye to your life.
Then I think about the reason as to why I can fall asleep so easily behind the wheel and so difficultly in bed. Then I realised that the best solution is to put a steering wheel in my bed and a pillow in my car! No, just kidding.
I found my inspiration for my fight against micro-sleep in a Korean-gamer who had died from literally too much gaming. In 2005, Seungseob Lee, spent almost 50 hours continuously playing Star Craft before going into cardiac arrest. It is believed that the adrenaline that comes from playing computer games can help one stave off sleep and hunger.
Ironically I wanted to do what Seungseob Lee did to survive. It is believed that the adrenaline that comes from playing computer games can help one stave off sleep and hunger so I had to come up with a way to occupy my brain while on the road. Obviously my vision was required so Angry Birds was definitely out of the question. I needed to play a thinking game with someone but who is awake at 4:30am in the morning?
The answer came to me quite quickly: Canadians.
With my phone package, calling Canada only costs 3 baht a minute, the same rate as a local call. So I gave my old University buddy a call.
“Hey Rob, how’s Canada?”
“Hey Oz! It’s great man how are you?”
“I’m a little sleepy, let’s play 20 questions!”
Believe it or not that one 20 questions game kept us occupied for the next 40 minutes and I was anything but sleepy. Soon enough, I was at my destination.
At the reservoir
At Bang Prah reservoir I met up with a fellow Bangkokhooker team member, Marcus B. We set out on our journey to settle our vendetta against our last weekend of no fish. We were determined to settle our score but to our chagrin we landed no fish. We saw many bites but missed them all. Strangely enough I wasn’t that disappointed. Had I been the fisherman I was two years back I would have lost it but not this time. This time, I have changed my perception of what failure is.
I have learnt that the thing that separates a successful fisherman to an unsuccessful fisherman is how failure is perceived. An unsuccessful fisherman would say after a fish-less day that he sucks and wants to give up because he has not landed anything. The successful fisherman accepts that there is no such thing as failure. A day with no fish is not a failure, it is a lesson learnt for the next fishing trip. It is an opportunity to reflect on our mistakes and learn how to do things better the next time round.This is not a new philosophy by any means, Anthony Robbins mentions this philosophy of success plenty of times in his books but I find that Rock Balbao says it best in the movie of the same name:
“You’ve gotta hit as hard as life. It isn’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!
If you know what you’re worth, Go out and Get What Your Worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you aren’t where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that and that aint’t you. You’re better than that.”
Anyway, enough with my love for all things Rocky Balboa, here’s a video from the day of fishing and missed strike that was beautifully caught on camera: