By Jesse Burkhart
I love competition. It doesn’t matter what it is. Golf, chess, cards, Scrabble, skee-ball at Chuck E. Cheese— if it’s a game in which a score is tallied and a winner determined, count me in.
We’re an unusual breed, us competition junkies, but we don’t bite (unless it’s part of the game). There’s just something about a good battle of wills that fires the right brain synapses and keeps us coming back for more.
Thankfully, there’s currently no shortage of opportunities for those who need a competition fix.
In early October, a ski resort in Newry, Maine will host the 2023 North American Wife Carrying Championship. The couple who’s the fastest to navigate a 278-yard obstacle course and its treacherous mud pit wins the wife’s weight in beer and five times her weight in cash.
Later that month, clear across the country, the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta will be held in Tualatin, Ore. The fall festival puts on a series of pumpkin-oriented contests and races, including the rowing regatta wherein competitors dress up as their favorite
costumed characters and take to the water inside a giant pumpkin.
Before the wife carriers and pumpkin paddlers get out of their gates, though, the auto glass industry will stage its own series of (much more serious) competitions at Auto Glass Week 2023 in Virginia Beach, Va.
The action starts on Tuesday, Sept. 19 when competitors check into the Virginia Beach Convention Center, select their vehicles and get ready to do battle in the XYG Auto Glass Technician Competition, Glasweld Windshield Repair Competition and Autel Auto Glass
Calibration Competition. For all of the indispensable folks at auto glass companies who handle the transactional side of the business—as well as the occasional unruly client—there’s also the Customer Service Representative Competition.
On Friday, Sept. 22, the winners will be crowned at the closing awards ceremony. Those who place first will receive prizes that are decidedly greater than five times a wife’s weight in cash. For Auto Glass Week attendees, the spirit of competition will be palpable. Keynote speaker Shaun White—a three-time Olympic gold medalist and one of the greatest action sports athletes of all time—will fortify that spirit.
Now retired from snowboarding, White is transferring his competitive energy to his business ventures. Auto glass managers who are looking for ways to one-up their rivals will be well served listening to a man who’s spent his entire life one-upping his.
As for me, I’ll have my own challenge to contend with at my very first Auto Glass Week—namely, digesting everything it will offer without appearing like a deer in headlights. If you recognize me on the show floor, please feel at liberty to tug my shirt collar and introduce yourself. I want to meet you, and when the competitions roll around, I want you to
show me what you’ve got.
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