With the summer’s major lumberjack competitions behind me, I can finally relax. I’m currently in Columbus, OH doing the Hank Peter’s Lumberjack Show at the Ohio State Fair. Come check it out . I’ll be here until August 18. After that I will be traveling to Virginia for 6 days on vacation.

All in all, I guess I didn’t have a bad year competing. I didn’t do as well as I would have liked to, but at the same time I learned a lot. After losing my first match in 4 years, I reaffirmed that no one is invincible, including the world champion. I’m not at all happy about my performance at the 2002 Great Outdoor Games. Two bronze and one silver is tough to stomach after winning all gold in 2000, and 2001. Even as I was climbing onto the dock in Hayward, WI after winning the 2002 Log Rolling World Championship, my mind was stuck on the fact I had done so poorly at the GOG. The problem with being on top is eventually, you start believing all the hype. Whether it’s from your fellow competitors or the media, you start believing winning is easy and the last four years of world titles involved nothing more than a “hop, skip, and jump” on a log.

When you take everything into consideration, one realizes how incongruous and preposterous it is to think such things. Nothing comes easy. The hours upon weeks upon months of training leading up to competitions all add up. The hot, cold and rainy training weather, pulled and strained muscles, and the huge allocation of time is all necessary to achieve such a goal. The correct mental state is vital. One must never be too confident, or overzealous. Most important of all, one must be committed to keeping the head firmly planted on the shoulders.

Next year I’ll try to remember that.

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