*If you don’t want to read my explanation of why this was a growing experience, blah blah blah, there is a cool video at the bottom of the page, check it out.
When I was in high school I did a lot of theater and I remember vividly what it felt like to not get the part I had been gunning for in a play. You always went and checked the casting list first thing in the morning, that way you had all day to feel crappy. It was hard, to feel disappointed, time and time again (just to be clear, I was cast in a bunch of plays) but it was also a good feeling to learn to live with: rejection. It isn’t a comfortable feeling, and it many ways, putting yourself out there for something you might fail at is a concept that I push frequently on this blog. Even though I was good with dealing with rejection back in high school I had gotten a little rusty.. which is why I am not dealing with this whole Badger Sponsorship thing very gracefully.
The Badger Sponsorship is something that Zach, the author of Appalachian Trials does yearly, to give away a bunch of gear package prizes and support the thru hiking community. The first couple of prize packages this year were incredible, most importantly for us featuring Altras, the shoes we just decided to hike in, and lots and lots of snacks. To win you had to submit a ninety-second video answering the three following questions: why do you want to win the sponsorship, why do you want to thru hike, why will you succeed. Kyle came up with an amazing concept, we got a tiny weather window, we found the perfect song… in short we were pretty stoked about our entry. Even more stoked as I watched other videos go up. I felt really good about our chances of getting picked to be one of the twelve finalists. Until yesterday when I got the email that we were not picked to be one of the twelve finalists. Crushing defeat. Cry cry cry. Even though I know in my heart of hearts we really didn’t neeeeeed to win (we already have all our gear), I still wanted to for my pride and because I like to compete. Mope mope mope.
If I am continually telling people it is important to take risks and get out of your comfort zone I would be lying if I didn’t admit that this contest did that for me, just in a very different way than mountaineering and falling into crevasses does. As much as I hate this feeling of rejection I can also recognize through the haze that it is important to be brought down every once in a while and to humble yourself. The important thing is that Kyle and I had a lot of fun making this video, I think we made something really beautiful and sweet and I still love it, even if it didn’t win us anything. I want to share it with you because it is honest, and while the first question, why do we want to win this sponsorship, doesn’t really apply anymore, I think our answers to the second two questions are rather pertinent.
If you are interested in seeing the finalists and voting for your favorite you can click here. Best of luck to everyone and may the best video triumph!
PS Phew, as usual writing about something really helps to clear my mind and make me feel a lot better. So glad I got that out of my system. Onwards and upwards!