Ranges, Targets and Competition

As I’ve said before, I’m a coach. I currently coach a high school trapshooting team. Each June, we have our State Competition in Nashville TN, and each July, we travel to Sparta IL for National Competition within the Scholastic Clay Target Program & Scholastic Pistol Program. We practice twice a week and have local competitions monthly. Teaching others how to safely handle firearms, respecting the firearms, and become accurate is a passion of mine. The 2nd Amendment is important to me.

I spent a couple hours Wednesday afternoon coaching the kids. You know what, it’s much more fun to coach when none of the athletes also reside in your house 🙂 I can laugh at the teenage silliness, and enjoy the “dumb” things they do (like not dressing for 40 degree weather), because they’re not mine. Trapshooting is done with a shotgun, and the targets are painted clay discs, thrown by a machine into the air. The point of Trap is to shoot the target while it’s in the air. This is the 5th year I’ve been coaching. I’ve learned so very many things about Trap, Skeet and Sporting Clays (all of which use clay targets and shotguns). Even though I’m a veteran, the Navy didn’t teach me these skills. That’s okay, because the Navy had a specific goal and point to shooting practice (and it wasn’t shooting clay targets for sure!)

Last night, my husband and I went to a local indoor range to help a friend get acquainted with a new gun. It’s a process, I mean, who picks up something new and is an expert within an hour? Not me!! She’s going to make time for more practice in the coming weeks, until she is comfortable. It was awesome to help another woman increase her confidence and accuracy with a new pistol. I have the option to become a pistol instructor for the NRA for a Women-Only class. I’m still considering whether I want to take that on yet.

Today, I went and shot Steel Challenge competition for the first time. I didn’t do too badly – finished 9th in my class of 11; 23rd in my division of 29; 57th overall out of 65. I’m not satisfied, but I know the mistakes I made today, and how to improve in next month’s competition; and really, isn’t that what life is about? Learning from your mistakes so you can improve? I really enjoyed getting to shoot with some of the other coaches and even some of the athletes I coach in trap.

So, I’ve spent three of the past 4 days around and / or shooting guns. A friend of mine tagged me in a meme on facebook about shooting being a stress release. Yup, it certainly is for me! Plus, I really like the smell of gunpowder AND being outside in the sunny weather.

The only downside is learning to manage my activity level. Being a type-A person before my cancer diagnosis means that I’m go-go-go-go-CRASH! My stamina just isn’t where it was, or even where I think it should be. So, I’ve now realized I’ve overdone myself yet again. Time for feet up and resting. And a NAP! Zzzzzzzzz

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