Musings of the Rookie – Sharing the Journey Part 8
I’m not sure I’ve ever had an original thought. Everything there is to think has already been thought by someone else. This submission to musingsis no different. For the life of me I can’t remember the source, but thanks to the guy who originally posed the question and to the shooter who shared it.
The story goes that the shooter was standing on the trap range as things were getting set up. Apparently, he appeared to be one slice short of a loaf. A friend, realizing that he was not in a good frame of mind for a successful shoot, walked over and handed him a slip of paper. All it said was;
Why are you here?
I took that as a shared lesson so here we go.
I tell myself I’m here for the fun – but shooting the same pair over and over till you can’t miss, wears thin pretty quick. I tell myself I’m here for the social experience – but in reality, I do most of my training days shooting alone. It lets me concentrate on the task and removes embarrassment from the formula. I tell myself I’m here for the prize money. Nah, even I’m not that gullible. I tell myself that clays make for great stress management – but when I take a score of zero on a station, or I forget my shooting card on the last station, I have to admit that my blood pressure probably goes up just a bit.
In the three years or so I’ve been doing this, I’ve bought three shotguns. I’ve bought 14,000 targets on my shooting card. I’ve shot a few thousand targets in various competitions. I’ve gone through close to 800 boxes of ammunition. I’ve spent a fair bit on instruction. Add to that driving time and costs – time away from home and family – the hours groaning in the hot tub after dragging my gear and my unfit body around the course. I’m led to ask myself;
Why am I here?
Is it fun? I probably shoot twice a month through the summer and once a month through the winter. I book my round online and obsess about it till the day comes. Fun? Heck yeah!
Is it the social experience? I was out yesterday with a squad of good friends. Halfway through, we tossed out the scorecard. We laughed and played like little kids the rest of the course. Socializing? Heck yeah!
Is it the prize money? Well, no, but sometimes I go home with a free box of shells, a medallion or a custom coffee mug. “Hey honey! I won third place in C class” (out of three shooters). OK, it’s not prize money, but I wouldn’t have those things on display at home if they were meaningless. Prizes? Heck yeah!
Is it stress management? There is certainly some exhilaration from watching a target disappear into a puff of dust – not to mention figuring out that target that I or others have been struggling with. Even the zeros are good lessons on how to deal with stress throughout all life’s challenges. Stress management? Heck yeah!
Take a minute to ask yourself…
Why are you here?