I arose this morning at 5:00 in order to go slay some fish.  It’s been a wet and cold week down on the Texas coastline but today was the day.

The wind had dropped to near zero.  The temperature was up to 60F.  Conditions were truly optimal for the end of November.

Lack of diligence cost me a good day on the water.  The fish received a Stay of Execution due to my lack of execution.

I’ve got the boat on a lift behind the canal house my parents have owned for 25 years.  My place is 4 miles away.   So get up, grab some coffee and drive over.  Normally once I pick up some live shrimp, I’m on the water in 10 minutes.  Drop the boat, load up my gear and some ice in the fish box and off we go.

Not today.

I’m sitting here on the balcony watching the sunrise with a good cup of coffee.  Not the morning I had planned.

One of the biggest challenges in keeping a boat operational on the gulf coast is simply running that engine regularly.  Especially in the late Fall and Winter months.  I leave a trickle charger on the battery to help out a bit.  I had several opportunities this week to go fire the boat up but it was rainy and cold and I took the lazy way out.

Guess what?  The breaker had tripped and the boat has been sitting there with no charger for a while now.  The battery was new back in May but dead now.  So, I set the charger back up and came back for some more coffee.  Hopefully the weather remains good and I can get a trip in this afternoon.

Why am I writing this?  Why am I telling you about my failure to prepare properly?  Well, for starters, it’s easy to talk about the wins.  The losses are where I learn my lessons.

We all want to think we will be prepared to answer the call when it suddenly arrives.  We want to think we will Rambo up when someone starts to charge at us with ill intent.  But we’ve not trained.  We’ve not prepared.

When was the last time you practiced with your pistol and rifle?

When was the last time you hit the gym and worked on developing your explosive strength?

When was the last time you ran through a fire safety drill at your home and prepared your kids for what to do and where to meet up?

This list of questions is so long.  I think I’ve made my point.

If you lack proper preparation, your risk of failure exponentially increases.

Will your engine start when you really need it?  When those you love lives might be at risk?  When the flood waters are rising?

Train early, train often.  Practice makes perfect.  Prepare properly.