Remember this post: "A Beautiful Heartbreak"? Everything about that fateful day in the 2012 DEWALT Contractor Challenge was exciting but simultaneously heartbreaking.
Our family is pleased to announce, however, that after almost 2 years, and a total of 5 competitions, we have a GRAND PRIZE WINNER!!!!
OH MY GOSH!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?!?!?!?!?!
Mitchell's story went down a little differently this time. First of all, he entered the challenge sitting pretty with the fastest qualifying time of any of the participants: 9.04 seconds. For this go-around, he didn't have to sweat bullets trying to beat out anyone else while he was under pressure.
HERE ARE THE "TRICKS"
He still had a "Support Team" (a little smaller than last time, because Taylor is on a mission, his mom was volunteering at a school to boost literacy, my dad couldn't handle the pressure--he's really competitive & gets worked up easily even as a "fan", my mom was holding down the fort running the business, and Tyson was in school). So basically, our support team was smaller than before, but we were still the ONLY support team that existed at the competition, because OUR FINALIST IS THE BEST!!!!
Remember that "Baby Bee" from last time? Uh...yeah, he's grown into the little blue monster. Essentially, our crew had the most fun cheering on Mitch because we got to go in costume for our DEWALT Style Halloween! :)
I ENTERTAINED THE KIDS WITH TREATS
All the way to the challenge, I kept asking Mitch, "Are you nervous?"
He was fine, but eventually I started to get nervous, because I was thinking about being nervous.
Finally when we pulled into the parking lot, he started to get jittery.
THEN we watched his competition trickle in one by one.
Everyone was nice. Some of them hung back and were quiet. Some of them talked a lot of smack. Some of the guys were really loud, but only one of the guys made us nervous--and that was the 2nd place qualifier.
We listened to the rules once again: Start the timer with your drill hand, pick up the driver, drill in 5 screws flush or deeper (screws that aren't flush don't count), set down the driver, stop the time.
- The first guy to go had a whopping & sloppy 15 seconds.
- The next guy put down the screws in 17 sec.
- On the third, I realized they were all tending to have their 1st flush screw at 3 seconds - and that was way too slow.
- One guy didn't even finish.
- And then came Mr. Second Place, who drove his 1st screw into the board after 1 second. WE WERE NERVOUS, but the worry only lasted for 11 seconds!!! The timer was stopped with a smile and he was the first to congratulate Mitch - shaking his hand like a good sport!
AND THE CROWD CHEERED!!!!! (Well, actually it was only me cheering. Mitchell was almost hyperventilating as it sunk in that he was the winner & the boys weren't old enough to really be watching the clock and feeling the suspense. But it was awesome!!!)
Mitch was given the chance to try again just for kicks, even though he already won because no one else beat his qualifying time. He started the clock, picked up the screws, and laughed after he drilled in only 2. He stopped midway with arms of jello as the tension & pressure released throughout his whole body, "I can't do this - my nerves!!! I can't even move! I can't believe I won!"
MITCH WON THE TOOLS!
Here's Mitch perusing the list of tools he could choose from - that part felt longer for me than it did for him, because he was LIVING THE DEWALT DREAM, while I entertained the children with candy.
Nick (the DEWALT guy), Emmett, Mitch, Miles, Debra Jo
Nick, Zach, Mitch
I wanted to take a picture of Mitch with some of his best DEWALT friends. :) The only one missing was Michael - he's encouraged Mitch all along throughout the last 2 years, but is now in charge of representing DEWALT at the Lowe's competitions, and we were in the Home Depot DEWALT challenge. Honestly, though, we love the DEWALT representatives - they all demonstrate the best customer service in a genuine way. I would buy a DEWALT tool any day over any other leading brand. Not only are their quality products "Guaranteed Tough", but they have demonstrated time and time again that THEY CARE about their customers. We'll always recommend their products - look for the black & yellow!
Before you get jealous that you didn't win a pallet of DEWALT tools, know that they do these competitions year round at a Home Depot near you. You can enter one, too (if you're a stud-muffin like Mitch). Also, remember that he has been working at this for almost 2 years...he "practices" every time he sees the drill set up in the store as he walks by. Anyone who has followed this story and knows the good man Mitch is and the way he works hard at everything he does, feels that he has worked hard for and deserved a triumphant day like this. We should all learn from his example that you'll never know what your possibilities can be if you never try.
THANK YOU SO MUCH, DEWALT! WE'LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU!!!!