Monday, October 22, 2012

So, Where's My Gold Watch?

As our seventh year of competing comes to a close I reflect on how many great times I have had. The friends, the laughs, the whole experience. This experience that just belongs to us, the Competitive BBQer. We can enjoy things that no other person understands. We can say things that would be lost on everyone outside this circle of ours. And we certainly do things that have others questioning our sanity. We've had a lot of you had to be there moments on The Circuit. Moments that can't be duplicated, moments that can't be explained, and moments that put a smile on my face weeks after they've happened. Moments that I'll remember for a lifetime.

As summer gives way to autumn you can feel the change in the air. It is the best time of the year. Comfortable days and cool, crisp nights; perfect weather for anything. It's a perfect time to end the BBQ season. You hit your groove in the spring, you work hard in the summer, and you hope to qualify before autumn hits...because after's too late. It's reminiscent of life, isn't it? Find what you're good at in your 20's, work hard at it through your midlife, and hopefully reap the benefits as you get older. Although I like to think that I am still in the summer of my life, I can see the leaves starting to change their colors. I can feel Autumn's wind at my back; it's cool and crisp... It is a perfect time in life.

In the midst of packing for our 4th Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue, I'm writing this. We leave in a few days. It is always an exciting time of year. A time to reflect on the past season but also a time to look ahead. What will next year hold for us? Will there even be a next year for Lakeside Smokers? Before the leaves start to fall from the tree...I think it might be time for a change. It might be time to readjust, rethink, and refocus on why we compete. Over these past seven years competition BBQ has given Kris and I so much. We have added lifelong friends and made some amazing memories along the way. We have been to places that we would have never gone to before. We've cooked at The American Royal, The Jack, and at The James Beard House because of BBQ. It has even made us a better couple. Getting to work side by side with my wife with one common goal at hand has been incredible. Competition BBQ has given us that. So, why change anything? Just keep on doing the same thing, right? They say doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results defines insanity. But that's exactly what this hobby is. We didn't win at our last comp, but I plan on doing exactly the same thing at our next comp and hope for different results, and for that, this hobby is the most positive way possible. I think at some point, everything must go through a change. I think it's healthy to break up the monotony... Maybe just postpone the insanity for a little while.