|Getting ready to start and checking out the tree with the judges.|
|He got his throw line onto the right branch 60-70ft up on his first try.|
|Getting ready to ascend.|
|Foot-locking up the tree. He is always one of the top guys for speed on this event.|
|Up in the tree and ready to move to the different stations.|
|Watching him up that high does give me butterflies in my stomach, but I know that he is ultra safety conscious.|
There is only one event for this competition which they call The Master's Challenge, unlike the local event which has 5 different events. This makes it a little more stressful because you only have one shot at winning, and there is no room for error. The event is pretty technical, and they give points for all kinds of different things like speed (they have 25 minutes to complete the tree), safety, assessment of the tree, and finesse. I don't even know everything they are looking for.
He was bummed because even though he looked amazing up there and finished in time (he was one of only 4 guys to finish in time), he took 5th place. We really had high hopes that he was going to make it to the Internationals this year and he had been training really hard. This is a really hard event though, and it really is all about who is having a good day.
He is #1 in my book though. And that is because he knows what is important. Instead of competing at multiple events in different states to boost his chance at winning like a lot of the other guys do, he chooses to stay home with his family. Instead of hanging out with the other competitors after the event and talking about gear and how awesome they are, he just quickly puts his stuff away and takes the kids to the playground there at the park. He loves doing these competitions and it makes his work more fun, but he always makes sure that it isn't pulling him away from his family too much.
And we figure there is always next year.....