Fishing: How it began
Fishing runs in my family. My great grandfather originally
adopted this hobby and passed it on to later generations. I
started fishing at the age of 5 with my dad, who is also an
avid fishermen. Whether at the riverbanks or on a boat
miles offshore, I have spent a great part of my free time
behind the rod.
Throughout the years, I have gained expertise on different
techniques and managed to catch quite a few trophy fish.
But fishing is more than just reeling in the fish. There is a
modus operandi behind fishing that contributes immensely
to my personal and work life.
PANAMA: The place to fish!
I was, luckily, born in Panama—considered one the world’s top
destinations for sport fishing. Legend has it that “Panama” is a native
word that literally means “abundance of fish”.
600 pound Pacific Black Marlin,
caught and released in 2007.
Montuosa Island, Gulf of Chiriquí,
Disconnecting from the outside
getaway from the bustle and the
routine of city life. Nowadays we
seem to be incessantly connected
to cellphones, email, work and
social networks. My first rule when
going fishing is to leave my
cellphone on the dock.
A fishing trip lets me connect with
myself and disconnect from
everyday problems. There are few
moments where one can relax and
simply enjoy life at its fullest. For
me, fishing fills the thirst for
adventure and pure repose.
Interacting with nature
While fishing, I can appreciate the earth’s
gifts firsthand. Sometimes we take natural
resources for granted as well as the
planet’s wildlife. There is something
mystical about tasting a wild caught fish
that gave an epic battle—something that
gives me a deep sense of respect,
gratitude and union with nature.
The oceans are an important source of
food, and slowly we are depleting them. I
have seen this through the decline in the
amount of fish caught by recreational
fishermen—mainly due to large
commercial vessels that overfish and
destroy the ecosystems.
As a result, I promote the practice of
catch and release, by releasing the
majority of the fish I catch and just
keeping the minimum for a good meal.
Fishing has taught me to work in teams
while doing something I like. A fishing crew
has to be committed to pursuing a single
goal. While fishing for a “grander”, a prized
marlin, good communication is the first skill
Everyone from the captain to the mate and
fisherman has to be constantly
communicating to avoid lines breaking or
hooks pulling off. This requires great
attention to detail, as a single mistake can
cost you the catch of a lifetime.
Fighting a big fish requires cooperation
from the entire team. Although usually only
one person fights a fish, every member has
to be on the lookout.
Maintaining a positive, collaborative
attitude and communication with your team
provides the best results.
Pursuing a fishing trip requires a lot of planning and defining courses
of action. Planning happens before leaving the dock:
1. One has to set a date and destination.
2. Next you need to prepare a budget, including:
a. The amount of fuel you’ll spend.
b. The food to take on the trip.
c. The other costs involving fishing licenses and equipment.
3. The fishing equipment needs to be ready to use and in proper
conditions before departing. Once out in the ocean there is no
going back if something was left behind.
Organization is a skill I used to struggle with, and it’s something
I pay close attention to, as it’s not my natural strength. When a
fishing trip comes up, I take full responsibility for the entire
organization, as I believe facing my weaknesses is the best way
to overcome them.
How it began
In February 2012, I made the best decision of my entire life.
I weighed 312 pounds and was in terrible physical and emotional
condition. I realized if I didn’t make a drastic change, my life would
be in jeopardy. As a result, I engaged in a dietary program and
Exercising was foreign to me, since I was the furthest from athletic
you could get. I tried different types of exercises, but none provided
the satisfaction that running sparked in me. When I started my
program, I could barely walk 100 meters without panting for breath.
After 14 months of intense dedication and training, I had lost 113
pounds and completed 10 races between 5 and 21km.
Becoming a runner introduced me to a new life—a life in which I take
advantage of each day and apply my newfound energy to whatever
task that I want to complete.
Running boosted my ability to be self
confident. Completing a half marathon
made me aware that in order to succeed
you need to believe in yourself.
Just two years ago, I thought running
and being in shape was impossible for
me. As soon as I started having
confidence in myself, though, I started
In my everyday job I try to be as
confident as possible in every
assignment I engage in. This has proven
to be an excellent tool for success.
Running a half marathon requires great
preparation and planning. In order to
complete longer races, I needed to plan how
to get there, one run at a time. This planning
required scheduling long runs, cross training
as well as following a special diet. I started
my running plan by covering shorter distances
from 3 km, 5 km,8 km, 10 km,16 km and
Following a plan is indisputable for me, as it
is the customized conduit to completing a
goal. Running taught me that sticking to a
strategy is the best way to get to the finish
By running, I discovered there is always room for
When I started running, my only desire was to cross the
finish line. It didn’t matter if I had to stop for rest or finish
in last place. As I progressed in losing weight, however, I
longed for new goals. Now I wanted to arrive in a better
position, to beat my personal records and to cover races
with longer distances. All of these added to a personal
bucket list that compelled me to achieve excellence.
Setting specific goals has helped me focus on the final
product from the beginning, therefore allowing me to
master the process along the journey.
Roberto Linares Guinard – International MBA applicant – IE Business School