So what other definition is their to which this may be applied "A test of ones abilities or resources in a demanding but stimulating undertaking:" Yes a personal challenge, a test of your own metal, against a target set by yourself that tested your ability whilst clearing your own lead pile or completing a project through the winter.
So while the glory boys rush headlong into a pitched battle for the top honours trying to beat each other by hitting record points targets. What better a concept for anyone like me to work under for 3 months than the latter definition, and this develops a sense of self achievement and of course actually creates a level playing field for every participant as anyone who makes their target has effectively won a challenge for themselves.
Sometimes we have to reflect on the bigger picture and personalise things we do, or it can grind us down. For me this is particularly true as I battle some rather major health issues that I wont go into detail here, other than to say that if I let the stress of trying to compete with he big boys affect me, I would stand no chance of recovering. So the challenge for me this year will be a personal one, that with good planning and a can do attitude I should achieve without too much problem.
Now don't get me wrong I like to compete as much as the next man, and a little competition is very healthy for us. However, seriously though is there any point in a painter as slow as myself trying to compete for a top spot? After all there is a wide range of personal targets from all the competitors that range from the sublime to the fecking ridiculous.
For me it's a definitive no!!! With the competition lasting approx 90 days I would have to paint 900, 28mm figures too hit the top target so that equates to 10 figures a day, but that is way beyond what I can achieve with the style and quality of work I try to produce. Not to mention the cost as my lead pile may be large but it is not that big so that would mean purchasing more figures. I also have a life and responsibilities to my family which rule out this level of dedication. I could reach this target sat in front of my paints working 15 hours a day for 90 days but what state would I be in at the end both mentally and physically as a result. I guess I just don't want to win it that badly or I would.
Yes I will actively participate in the banter and happily accept ridicule and sledging if I fail to produce my target, or my peers decide it is fitting. I am firmly in the camp of don't give what you can't take in that respect. I will undoubtedly have a flying start as well, once it all gets under way. Most of us are able to start with a flourish but as time wears on the impetus gets a little lost along the way, production tends to drop off. It is a natural decline and I don't want it to be a slog, as there would be little or no enjoyment in such an event. I am also taking it more seriously than previous years and have got myself organised and have planned my work out (not that it guarantees anything) in an effort to remain on track, focussed and aids me to deliver my target.
Above all though, I enjoy the challenge and I like to see the wide diversity of entries this brings each year. Its an annual winter event that brings some fun into those long winter nights of gloom and lifts the spirits. This will be my second foray into the event, although the third year I have followed it closely. This year I would like to beat my good buddy +kevatthecabin but readily accept this is unlikely, and he will have another term of being able to gloat at my failings. +Curt C is the engine room of the challenge each year and with 60 competitors to keep him occupied will really have his work cut out this year. I am sure he will manage and has already worked out a method for retaining control over proceedings. For me this is an event that features heavily on my painting calendar and one that I particularly look forward too each year. A chance to compete and make a few new friends or reacquaint myself with challengers from previous years. But most of all have some fun and meet my personal targets for the months ahead.
So what is your take on the Challenge? What do you hope to gain most this year?