Yesterday was training day (read blog), but today is the day to use those skills. Sunday is match day. Still hot & humid, but hey, we’re the Battle Babes, we’ve got this. Out of the eight ladies that trained, six of us actually squaded for the match. One gal had a commitment and the other decided that due to some family news she received her head wasn’t in the game and opted out. It is truly a valuable asset be able to realize when to say when, especially at a firearm match where it’s always safety first.
Even though I’ve been shooting local club matches, this was a Level II match and I was nervous. Ten stages await. That’s less than 10 minutes of actual shooting. But it's so much fun you really don’t think of it that way. You are watching, learning, planning, shooting and then discussing what you should have done!
Our squad started on Stage 10. Aw dang, there’s steel poppers. I can do it. And I did.
Okay, my first stage is done and the jitters are gone. Now on to Stage 1, 2, 3 and then it happened. The dreaded DQ. Yep, I got disqualified. I broke the 180-degree rule during a mag change and GAME OVER. People always say “It’s not IF you get DQ’d it’s WHEN “. Although I don’t think that should be a badge of honor, it does happen and the Safety Officers are trained and there to ensure the game is conducted in a safe manner.
So now what? My shooting time is over, it’s hot, I’m tired and have a 3+ hour drive ahead of me. Should I just leave after lunch? HECK NO! I’m not a quitter! I’m staying to support and cheer on the other ladies who’ve worked hard too and are having a great time. And besides, I still have the rest of the stages to continue to practice what I need to learn, the stage breakdown. I get to practice what I really need without any pressure. SWEET! (silver lining moment)
What was my takeaway from the weekend? I discovered that no matter where you are in your journey, there is still more to learn. It’s important to surround yourself with others who are at different skill levels than you for two reasons. First, you’ll learn things from those ahead of you and second, you can be a great mentor for those following in your footsteps. I’ve also learned that at this stage in my life I really don’t want to put forth the time and effort required to move to a higher shooting level and that I’m truly happy just where I am. Of course, I want to always find ways to improve my skills and safety and I’ll continue to seek instruction and move outside my comfort zone. But there is a difference in serious training and just having fun with a group of people and enjoying your day.
Another fun aspect of this trip is that I got to see several people from my local matches and hear how they did and I got to meet a few people that I knew only from our interaction on the internet and networking our businesses. But the funniest thing was I actually got recognized by someone. ‘Hey, it’s THE PURPLE GUN lady!’ Of course, my shooting shirt has my logo on it so maybe I’m not a celebrity after all. LOL!
If you are interested in the action shooting sports, whether you are setting your sights on master class shooting or using the match to keep your gun handling and marksmanship skills current, find a club near you, grab a friend or two and head out on match day to see what it’s all about. I’ve never encountered a better group of people who are so excited and willing to help you learn and share in their sport. Hey, you might just run into me and I’d be happy to have you on my squad.
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