Son’s determination pushing him to get outdoors

Published 8:21 am Friday, May 27, 2011

Welcome back, outdoor friends.

My 16-year-old son Robert’s determination to participate in the Three Rivers Bass Tournament on May 15 reminded me of some of my own determination when I was his age.

There was rabbit hunting the day after tearing my ankle to shreds during my last high school football game. I did my hunting from a tractor seat that day.

There was hiking in five miles to a native trout stream that would probably not even yield a legal fish to keep, but their colors and fight per ounce was something you just have to experience. Oh, and the five-mile hike back out.

There were the Boy Scout camping trips that sometimes got a late start because of Friday night after-school activities. I was up early the next morning to cook on the open fire and compete with the other young men in first aid, Klondike derbies, and other scout activities.

There were the 3:30 a.m. wake-up calls for spring gobbler season. Those weren’t too bad to face because the afternoon naps were a great compromise.

As I grow more “experienced,” my willingness to make these commitments to myself has fallen off a bit. It is harder to get going in the mornings. There is always a more logical place to invest hard-earned money. The time required also takes me away from other things that need attention and are important to me.

Well, you know, it is also important to remember exactly who I am and to listen to my son once in a while. It’s time for me to get up early, go to bed late, spend a little money, take a little time, challenge myself to overcome and do what I loved to do while growing up.

The kicker here is that I have someone who totally supports these things and actually enjoys doing them too. I think we both needed a little lesson from Robert, and maybe this Memorial Day weekend, we will share in making some outdoor memories ourselves.

My friends, don’t hide inside this weekend. Find a river to paddle, a beach to explore, a trail to enjoy, a mountain to climb, or a field to watch the nature of things. It is what men and women in our armed services have fought and died for; they want us to enjoy this great country of ours. What better tribute to Memorial Day weekend then to do what they would have us do. Enjoy these great outdoors.

Please do so safely. See you on top of the mountain!

BOB RUDZIK is a Newsoms resident. He can be reached at