I have often said I have the most enviable job at the International Tree Climbing Championship (ITCC) As head technician of the work climb event and the assistant head technician of the Master’s Challenge, I get an up close, aerial view of everybody. For all the fun and glint that is the competition, the moments I enjoy the most anymore are the quiet ones, when the set up is done, the playing field set.
The above picture is the work climb tree a few hours before the preliminary events kicked off. Before the crowd, the judges, the ropes and other paraphernalia the tree stands as it always does, indifferent to us, our schemes.
Why return, year after year, tree after tree? Why spend 8.5 house aloft one one day then 4.5 the next? The chance to view the events? The opportunity to be part of something bigger than any single person? Sure those play in. However, mostly it is just a chance to do as my friend and mentor, the late Bruce Smith, asked of us all in his final wish.
“Pay it forward. . . Be awesome!”