I'm still at MIR. I'm still sobering up from last night. Sounds like the perfect time to write. :)
The competition was a very, very long, arduous process. There was a lot of "hurry up and wait", and all told, I only really had two hours of free time on Saturday from Noon until midnight. Anyone who goes for a sash needs to be ready for that kind of time commitment.
Since the title of this post isn't "thank you", you can infer reasonably, and correctly, that I lost. I know I had told a lot of the guys in Minneapolis that my goal was to at least make the top three, but sadly, I didn't make it there. I won't lie, I AM a little disappointed after all the work I did. BUT, after meeting and getting to know my competitors over two days, I can say honestly that every one of us was potentially deserving of the title. Competition was steep! The winner, G-Man, was Mr. Southeast Rubber (he's from Atlanta). After hanging out with him for the whole weekend, I can say truly that the judges made the right decision here; this man has all of the qualities that embody Mr. International Rubber.
Before I say anything more, I have to give a special shout-out to my rubber Martha Stewart, Puck8954. My catsuit was starting to rip apart in the back (again) as I was getting ready backstage for the events last night. I called him up, told him the details, and he showed up and put an emergency patch on it 10 minutes before showtime! That boy is amazing.
"The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” - Don Williams, Jr.
I've learned more now than I ever thought I would through this process. I always said I thought competitions were cheap, bullshit excuses for kinky guys to convene, but I get it now. I'm not going to say this to be egotistical at all.
Entering and going to this competition did so much more for Minneapolis and Minnesota's kinky communities than I ever thought it would. The fact that so many of my friends rallied around me and helped to encourage one person to go for a very intimidating goal ignited a spirit of brotherhood among us that we had never felt before. And yes, I'm talking to you, BlackLeatherChazz, GearKidMN, JDLeathermanMN, LeatherDehners, TrainerAndBoy, RedLeafStars, RedDragonfly, MNHockey, MPLSGuy, RubberDudeMPLS, NixJohn, PecAssO, Willco68, and Bicycler. And any other boy I may have missed. Your support and encouragement for me has been more humbling than I can express in words, and in this process of working together with me, I think we've become stronger than we ever have together.
My most humble of thanks through this process have to go out to one very special pup. He's been a continuous source of inspiration, motivation, determination, support, and friendship. PupTrigger, words can't express how much you've meant to me in working on this the past few months; thank you for not only giving me the courage to go for the gold, but making me feel like I could actually grab it.
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter that I lost. I have tears in my eyes as I'm typing this, because I mean it so fervently. The past year of brotherhood we've shared, culminating in the past few months with my sash-run have been an incredible time for us. It doesn't matter that it was me running - I think it would have been the case if any of us had gone for it. Maybe this is the true meaning of the competition? To give us all a common goal and something or someone to rally around as brothers?
Boys, even though I lost last night, we won.