I wanted to start this thread a few weeks ago, but I have been so busy of late, that it has been put off until now. The main purpose is simply to encourage the folks that feel like they have unfinished business at the world show. I understand more as each year passes how ones priorities tend to change. It might be Low T, or just getting old and tired, that has taken it's toll on my competitive nature. I still have this desire to compete, but it is just a glowing ember now and not that raging fire that once burned in me. The delusional dreams of being the "Greatest of all Time" abandoned me many years ago. Even the "need" to win has faded away. However, one thing remains the same. The fact that the creativity, born from the struggle of competition is one of the few things in life that makes my eyes shine. I mean, putting a piece together that raises the personal bar for me is one of the desires that God placed deep with me. I know many of you reading this will not relate to what I am writing here, and others used to, but either lost it through a crushing wound or simply grew past the need for such trivial things. Competing or not competing is an intimate personal choice that one must decide for themselves. For many the risk is too great. For others the reward is so great that they are compelled to sacrifice much just to do it. With more than a year separating us from the last show and it's triumph and heartache, it is time to look ahead. I would encourage all you who are driven towards redemption, to try and regain that feeling you had when you were "breaking new ground". When you could hardly leave the shop at night because you had to turn the lights back on and get one more glimpse of your ultimate show piece. Enjoy the process again! Embrace the struggle! One time years back, Joe Meder could see the dejected look on my face after taking a whuppin" at a world show. He said just because you do not win a Grammy, do you think that people don't dance to your song or sing it in the shower? His point was simple, you do not have to win the Grammy to inspire others. I remember sharing with Mike Orthober how crushed I had been at one world show, He just grinned and said "it's just a taxidermy competition man". So I say to you that have unfinished business at the world show, (you know who you are), enjoy the process! Have fun and know that the piece the judges ultimately decide is best, may not be the best. In reality, winning or losing, should have no bearing whatsoever on who you are in the universe. Your value is far greater than a coin or ribbon or plaque.