This isn't eating.
Eating is an action performed to acquire nutritional sustenance. We eat for the sake of our survival. No, what I do on the stage with others, in front of an audience or a camera isn't eating. I don't do it for the sake of sustenance and, with the amount of choking I've experienced, it is certainly not conducive to my survival.
What I do is more like quickly packing luggage, taking as much stuff as I can and trying to rapidly stuff it into a bag without the bag bursting or throwing up in front of the other bags. The real objective is to pack in as much stuff as possible, not to eat. Eating is what David Hassellhoff does with cheeseburgers while laying on the floor.
And why I do it really comes down to a basic proposition that I thought of after my first contest: So I get rewarded to consume large quantities of food in a short period of time? Ok, sign me up. This is something that I have learned in the past year that I've engaged in this activity, and taking some time to reflect on my eating career, I've come to notice a few trends.
The most significant of which is the reason why I do this in the first place. After making some decent extra income from events, I've become more objective with the competitive eating events I choose to participate in. It simply comes down to a matter of deciding whether or not the incentive to do an event is worth the time and discomfort.
It's not for the love of food as some have suggested. I never walk away from a contest thinking about how enjoyable the soggy food I just packed in was. And on the rare occasion when I actually enjoy the taste of a challenge, it becomes disappointing because it's over much too quickly. No, I'd rather eat slowly and really enjoy the meal with the company of others and a few drinks.
The other trend I've noticed is that competitive eating doesn't have the same allure that it once had for me. Maybe there is a slump that eaters experience in their sophomore year of actively engaging in competition. Perhaps there is, I really haven't felt the magic in a while and it's just not as exciting anymore. The erection I once had for food and competition has grown flaccid.
Penis dessert challenge in San Diego
Regardless, as long as there is an incentive to participate in competition and challenges I will continue to competitively eat. I still enjoy the aspect of improving my technique and capacity and truly feel that I have so much more to learn and improve on.
With 2012 already here, I plan to re-position my online content to be a bit more purposeful. I feel cross posting what I put on youtube with my blog content then linking it to facebook is very redundant. I plan on writing more frequently with more succinct blog entries reflecting on my current endeavors with photographs and opinions. I won't bother summarizing what I post about on youtube since the videos pretty much speak for themselves. Though I will continue posting as I have, hopefully increasing the frequency of uploads as I get more subscribers.
As for facebook, well, that will go on as normal. Just tagging your check ins, posting my current activities and commenting on how adorable that picture you posted of your new puppy is. Also the new timeline format sucks, please stop using that abomination.
Lastly, I've met some very interesting people over the past year. People who have strong opinions regarding competitive eating, who are outspoken regarding competition, the people they associate with in the competitive eating community and the current state of the eating game in general. It's been a few months, but I finally got around to editing a few interviews I did with competitive eaters from the West Coast Hot Dog Eating Championship reflecting such opinions.
Here is part 1:
And part 2:
Also thanks to everyone who's stuck around with me over the past year. I truly appreciate the support in growing my youtube subscriber base and the encouraging words in general. I hope to bring more to the table over the next year.