Thursday, June 14, 2012

Same as it Ever Was

This weekend we are off to compete at The Rock 'N Ribfest in Merrimack, NH. This will be our seventh year competing there; it was the first comp that we ever did. I can remember packing for that competition vividly: nervous, butterflies, and nausea. I remember thinking 'when do these feelings go away?' Apparently, it's more than seven years. At every comp that I get ready for I get those same feelings in my gut. Nervousness, anxiety, but eager. Over the years the actual work of getting ready for a comp has gotten a lot easier. But those apprehensive feelings are still there. Competing at that first comp seven years ago we just didn't want to embarrass ourselves. This year...it's the same thing.

They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. I never really put much thought into that saying before. But, it kind of works here. Things have absolutely, unequivocally changed for Lakeside Smokers over the past seven years. And yet, my thoughts and feelings are the same as they were getting ready for that first comp. I still don't want to embarrass myself. Sure, what I consider embarrassing now differs greatly from seven years ago. But still, it's the same feeling. I want to go there, compete, put up the best food that I can, and try to do well. At every contest over the past seven years that is all that I wanted to do. That's stayed the same. But what's changed are the goals we have set for ourselves. When you first start competing you just don't want to come in Dead Ass Last. After a few comps you just want a call to the stage. Once you get that, you just want a better call to the stage. After that happens you set your sights on a first place in a category. Once achieved, you start thinking...'can I win a contest?' Yes, yes you can. Then when you finally win your first contest the stupidest thing happens: you want to win every contest! But that's not realistic. In fact it's impossible. But still...it's always on your mind.

The Rock 'N Ribfest has been a special comp for Lakeside Smokers over the years. It was our first comp. It was our first call to the stage. And, in 2009, it was our first Grand Championship; and the ticket to our first Jack Daniel's World Invitational. It's only 30 minutes from our home and we have hosted many parties there for our friends and family over the years. Like every year in the past, I'm looking forward to getting up there early Friday morning and setting up our site. I like to watch as new teams show up to their first comp. It's like looking into the past. That was us once: wide-eyed, curious, a little scared. And on some level, that is still us. Things have certainly changed for us over the years, but most things have stayed exactly the same.

Lakeside Smoker's First Trophy
Merrimack, NH 2006

1 comment:

Edward Roach said...

I was reading this and was smiling to myself about the similarities that we have regarding Rock 'N Ribfest. This was also our first competition, our first call to the stage, our first Grand Championship, which gave us our first trip to the Jack Daniels Invitational which will occur next month!!