Musings of the Rookie – Sharing the Journey Part 6
Author: Rob Ridley, Rookie
If you are reading this, chances are you have at least shot clays once – maybe several times. Perhaps it is an all consuming addiction. Perhaps the addiction is so strong that when you can’t be at the range, you try reading or writing about being there to get you through, (he says looking in the mirror).
Do you remember the first time you shot at a clay? Do you remember the first time you hit a clay target? It’s not on par with love’s first kiss, but you can see it from there. Then there was the first time you hit more than you missed. The curve moves quickly and even more so with good instruction or guidance. ADRENALINE! (Which can get you in trouble) and DOPAMINE! (Which is just a satisfying reward for a job well done.)
You know this can’t go on forever right? For about the last month, I’ve been experiencing “the slump”. It started on a pretty satisfying competition shoot. Now I don’t expect to win these, but the camaraderie and fun is absolutely infectious. I was just smoking tough birds and generally feeling pretty good about myself, but for reasons I still don’t understand, I took ZERO on three out of the 32 stations. Today was even worse. Yes, I was tired and depleted from an unrelated training course I’d been on, but I don’t think I hit half of them, and at one station, I used a whole box of shells trying to figure out what should have been two easy targets.
Remember that shoot where I took three ZERO stations? One of my squad mates, JS, who is a very talented shooter, had an even worse morning on that shoot and the way he handled it was a life lesson for me. He recovered for the afternoon shoot and was back to his old form in short order. Most importantly, he never got grumpy.
There are going to be good and bad days for scores, but there are NO bad days on the range. Would you rather figure out the new budget restrictions at work – or a slow right-to-left crosser at Silver Willow? My friends – it’s ALL GOOD!