I don’t enjoy competition shooting that much these days. Sure, I still like to shoot matches, but for me the juice isn’t really worth the squeeze. See, the problem is that I like winning more than I like getting better. You’d think those two things would go hand in hand, but they really don’t. Sadly, it’s an easy trap to fall into.
When I first started shooting action pistol matches, it wasn’t long before I was one of the better shooters at my local club in Indiana. Then I discovered that if I shot revolver, I could pretty easily win my class or division. Didn’t matter to me that I only beat one or two or four guys, because I won. I got addicted to that feeling of being the best. When I moved to Seattle, it was easy to continue doing that, because my sponsors provided me with guns that didn’t really fit well into a division other than Limited-10, so I kept shooting that and kept winning club matches. I’d shoot occasional majors and do alright, but never came close to winning, except for revolver divisions at IDPA nationals. The major match finish I’m most proud of is 4th in CDP at the 2012 Indoor Nats. That was a real division with legit masters, and I shot a good match to get there.
As time passed, winning club matches didn’t really do it for me anymore. I wanted something bigger, something better. I wanted to win my class at a major. I had a shot to win B-Class at Single Stack Nationals but I choked. 6th or 7th in my class. I finally won 1st Master at a couple of IDPA national level matches in revolver, but I hadn’t heated any of the past national champs to get it, so what’s the point?
This then is the problem: I like shooting, and I enjoy shooting matches. But the part I enjoy isn’t the process of becoming a better shooter. I hate dry fire, and I don’t even particularly enjoyed structured live fire practice sessions. But those are exactly what I need to spend more time doing if I ever want to be more than a state level champion.
I don’t really know why I’m writing this. It’s 2:39 am where I am, and I can sleep. Maybe I’ve got stuff on my mind. Maybe I’m reflecting on a shooting career that looks great on paper but has largely left me unfulfilled and wondering what I spent all that time and effort on. What’s really interesting to me is that in other areas, I’m more than willing to put in the work. Running, lifting, pt – or working on ad sales and running he company. There I don’t mind the “little things” or the progressive measures that I need to take to become a better ad salesman or a better running. But with the shooting sports…I do. I just want to win, I want that high of winning, but I don’t want to win high press or something else meaningless. The more of those pointless plaques I piled up, the less they mattered to me.
Maybe I just need to take some off from the shooting sports. Keep blogging, of course. Maybe I’ll take up bullseye. I loved bullseye.