"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt, Paris France, April 23, 1910
Ok, maybe Ted is talking about greater things than entering a music contest, but for me, this is an act of personal courage. Of pushing beyond my limits and daring to fail…perhaps greatly. However, if I can get myself out of the way of me … and sing my songs out loud and clear … that would be a great personal accomplishment. I don't have to do this. I don't have to work this hard and get sick nervous and put myself through this. But I do it because I love my songs. And because everything good that I have today came because I pushed myself into seemingly impossible situations where I always say, "dare to be stupid.," my version of "dare greatly." Winning to me is trying new things, putting myself in uncomfortable circumstances and pushing to deliver my absolute best. Win or lose.
Results: I played and sang my songs clearly. No freezing or bumps. Sweet Willie Tea won. A young woman, Alicia Marie came in second (ok, we were not supposed to hear the standings but someone blabbed and she posted it). There was another guy who was fairly traditional blues and me, who was more "bluesy" than pure blues. Perhaps I came in fourth.
See again, "The Man in the Arena," and carry on.