Yesterday morning I was stuck at the office and bored out of my mind. The internet seemed to be completely dead. Nothing going on with Facebook or Twitter and my RSS Feed contained a handful of updates, all of which I cared nothing about.
With my morning break quickly coming to a close, I wanted to do something productive. I grabbed a scratch pad and decided to jot down some post ideas. Maybe one less inspiring idea would lead the way for something that would compel me to write? If nothing else, it would serve as a little to-do list to keep me busy.
One of the items on that list was a post about what I missed about the Shooting Sports (USPSA / IDPA). It has been a while since I’ve been able to get out and shoot, so the post seemed appropriate. Then, out of pure coincidence, I received a comment from Ray just a few hours after making my list.
Just curious have you hung up gun and stop shooting?
When the comment came in I felt a pang of guilt. Shooting was something I enjoyed a great deal. I used to shoot as often as I could manage. I’ve met some awesome people on the range, many of which I still keep in touch with thanks to Facebook.
I miss laughing with Ted and Jason as we setup on Saturday morning at Lower Providence. I miss working with Graham and crew at Southern Chester and having a bay all to myself – allowing me to be creative with stage design. Most of all, I miss working and shooting with Joe and Sean at their championship caliber matches at Ontelaunee.
While I was never heavily into IDPA, I used to enjoy shooting at New Holland and supporting Annette and Mark. I stopped shooting at Ontelaunee around the time Dave went to Guthsville (which I’ve never been to) but I used to enjoy his matches.
If I miss shooting so much, why don’t I just pack up my range bag and head out? Well, that’s easier said than done. These days I find it nearly impossible to break away for an entire day on a weekend. My wife’s new career as a nurse has it’s challenges when it comes to scheduling.
She works two out of four weekends per month which means I either take my daughter with me to the range or find a babysitter. Since my daughter is only 5 years old, I think she is too young to accompany me (she most definitely wouldn’t stay occupied for an entire match and would ultimately get bored – you know how bored 5 year olds get, right?).
There are always alternate weekends since we have two more USPSA Clubs than we did two years ago, but even that gives me pause. My wife works second shift so during the week we don’t see a whole lot of one another. I wouldn’t feel guilty about going out to shoot for a few hours but in the past I was leaving the house around 6:00am and wouldn’t get back home until about 3:00pm. When I walked through the door I was generally wiped out from the days activities.
I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately and it has come down to one of two options. I need to find a local match that doesn’t require me to be on the range all day (Something like Steel at Topton or Lower Providence comes to mind – although I’ve never shot steel match so I don’t know how they generally run). Or, the more preferred option, I need to limit myself to shooting one match per month and plan it around my wife’s off-weekend.
While I don’t forsee myself being able to compete like I used to, I’ll at least be able to spend a little time with friends on the range and get in some trigger time. It would also give me an opportunity to put my new USPSA RO Certification to use.
To answer your question, I haven’t hung up the guns for good but I’m nowhere near as active as I used to be (or as active as I’d like to be but some sacrifices need to be made).
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