Saturday, July 15, 2017

Confessions of a Competition Giant Pumpkin Grower

Okay, I have to admit it.  I'm naturally a very competitive person.  I love competition.  Prettty much enjoy it when someone challenges me and I know I'm ready to meet the challenge or know I can step up to it.   In high school I played tennis and at the beginning my senior year for a stretch I was playing poorly prior to the season.  The assistant coach asked me what was going on and I told him I was playing great two weeks before, but lately I was struggling.  The coach said, "Jamie, your just not that good."  I didn't say anything, but I was mad.  It was just what I needed.  I hadn't been playing with confidence, but I threw that out the window because in my mind, nobody was going to say that to me because I KNEW that was wrong.  That season in matches I didn't lose a single set until the state championship.

I use my competitive nature to help my pumpkin growing.  On days like today I create little competitions in my mind go make sure I bury vines during hot days like today.  I must have buried vines for three hours today.  At points I wanted to stop or do a half way job.  But then I would think of my competition and it helps me push through it.

I remember my first season I didn't really know what to expect.  I set a goal of 500 pounds, but wasn't sure if that was possible.   Early in the season there was a small hail storm and I lost the tip of the main vine.  I posted some questions on the RMGVG discussion board and got some good advice back, but one grower who had grown for a few years, made some comments that were kind of insensitive.  He became my motivation.  Losing a vine tip sets you back about two weeks.  I didn't know how my season would end pumpkin wise, I just knew I was going to beat that "jerk."  I ended up beating him and having a pumpkin that was about 100 pounds bigger than any pumpkin he ever grew.  I remember him making a comment about that at the weigh-off.  It was sweet to me.

That same year, I got beat by a second year grower, by just two pounds, that is a really nice guy.  I unconsciously decided I was going to beat him that next year.  I worked hard in the patch until a massive hail storm COMPLETELY took out my plants.  I got him the next year however.  Lol

Is it childish?  Maybe, but it works for me.

I've seen growers set state records because of another grower that they were openingly having arguments with and they were going to do everything in their power to beat that other guy.

If you are a grower that gives it everything you got simply because you love watching the plant grow to its potential then go with that.  I don't really care where you find your motivation, but be motivated.  If it is worth doing it, then do it well and grow them big!

Where do you find your motivation?

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