It has been ages….absolutely ages since I have posted. And in some sense I feel like I didn’t fully commit to what I had initially set out to do…which was to write about the experiences of competition. It all started out pretty great…but then life happened…and radio silence followed. There is no good excuse for that.
When I first started this blog, my intention was to write about the experience of competing. I wanted to share all of the challenges associated with competition, and be open about the ups and downs a person has. I also wanted to explore the metamorphosis of mind-state of the competitor, in hopes it would provide a more transparent view for others who want to compete.
I began that endeavor by pushing myself to compete in every competition possible, with the belief that it would a) provide me with a well rounded understanding of competition itself, b) allow me to dig deeper into my own psychology and c) enable me to give those experiences back to the coffee community in hopes it might inspire or help others compete. While I do believe that I achieved some of those goals, primarily a and b, I am left with the feeling that i haven’t given back enough yet. My commitment to writing about my experience become overshadowed by the very nature of experiencing.
Some people seem to be really fantastic at that thing called self-discipline. They are really great at forcing themselves to sit down and write the posts they committed to. They manage it like clockwork, despite the chaos of life. I really admire that, and hope that I can become better at it. I have to say that one my fellow coffee professionals, Kasjan Orzol, has that discipline. And its probably him that has reminded me the most of this little commitment that I made. Thank you Kasjan…your words and constant belief in me is what has got me to finally sit down write this. In fact…its what also inspires me to keep competing.
I have this little notebook full of all the draft blogs that I intended to post during the last year of competition. Some of those are fully written, while others are simply a collection of thoughts. So many little realisations that never made it here. And for that I am selfish, so it is finally time to share those. As I enter preparations for UKBC 2018, I find myself reading through and reflecting on it all. While there are notes that are intelligible, some stuff just looks like chicken scratch on a page. But after all this reflection, I think it is time to get this stuff up. I recognise that the pieces will be less ‘raw’ and in the moment, and far more reflective. But I hope they might at least resonate with some others who experience the same.
So what I guess I am trying to say is that I apologise for not sharing enough, and intend to remedy that by posting as much as I can from that little notebook. I believe that doing so will allow me to share insight into the mindset of competition, but also give others reason to compete.
Throughout that year I realised the many benefits of competition, to which I believe fall under four main levels:
- Why a brand new coffee professional should compete
- Why a seasoned coffee professional should compete
- How competition helps a business
- How competition helps the industry.
I also realised the types of support a person needs to do well, and am thankful for those who have been there for me through this journey. My boyfriend and coach Jokubas Morkunas, my mentor Jamie Treby, Mat North and the amazing UK SCA who make all of this stuff happen, all my fellow competitors (so many to name), my colleagues, and all of those involved in the seed to cup journey.
I hope to cover these topics, among other things, in the next several blogs. Through this I hope I can teach myself the discipline that so many others have, and hope my words are useful. Please note that the blogs may not be in the order that the competitions took place. The old experiences may also be inter-spliced with new ones, as I am currently prepping for yet another competition. If there is anything that you would like to know more about, please ask and I will try my best to achieve that.
Thank you for reading these thoughts…I look forward to writing more.