Or – What a great start to the Provincials!

Imagine our home club (Hamilton Gun Club) in the morning, with about 150 trap shooters around (and many more just watching)… and 10% of them being LearnTrapshooting Canada’s teams! Isn’t that nice?

It is – and it was wonderful to see the golden people all with big smiles and (at least some, I am sure, if not all) quiet nerves. We gathered relatively late – all ready to classify and squad around 10 am – and ambushed Alan @ classification. After we cleaned all the confusions about who has enough targets and who doesn’t we were ready to pull the squads and we did so in good time. People behind us were really understanding, I thought some of them will start complaining; but either they came to recognize that we are, in fact, doing a good thing for the sport, or simply they got used to our storming around with lots of gold 🙂 Whichever it is – a public and heartfelt ‘Thank you!’ for your patience, gentlemen, it is much appreciated.

After a few moments of confusion about who needs to pay what (I know, those forms can get really really scary!) we met on the west side, under our beautiful white tent. Cars unpacked, guns put together and into the rack, lawn chairs spread around – and then the humming of the day started… Everyone was excited – to shoot, to watch, to simply be out there. The whole day passed almost without a hiccup – we got pretty good scores, we got several decent ones, we got lots of conversations along these lines: ‘Wow, lots of new people… when did they start?’ ‘In March [or May or January]’ ‘What year is that?’ ‘This year’ ‘You mean to tell me they have been shooting for less than 6 months?!’ ‘Yup’ ‘Oh, they are doing GREAT! Keep doing!’. And we got lots and lots of positive comments from lots of people… Everybody kept saying the same thing over and over: ‘This is great – what you are doing here!’.

We even tried to ignore the craziness of the doubles event – which started on the wrong foot and continued that way… the only good thing about it is the fact that when the rain starts everyone was completely done 🙂

All in all – a beautiful start to the 4 days of competition. We had fun and we enjoyed our targets. We met some of our good friends and we gained more and more experience.

My lesson for the day? Don’t rush! If I could only be patient enough to remind myself that before each and every shot… 🙂 And it’s not that I don’t know what to do, because I do – but that Mr. Hyde kept popping his ugly head in my mind and disturbing my peace. So for me the simplest of advice today: Stay there until you see the target… everything I missed today could have been smoked if I only had waited to see the target first.

But I am happy – beyond the scores (which were all over the spectrum – I am talking about my own) I had a very fun day, with lots of sun and almost no rain (I got half-soaked at the end, looking for my better half, which, for the record, has been beside me 2 seconds before… and then… simply disappeared!), with lots of smoked targets and this simple realization of how much more some patience will bring to my trapshooting life, with lots of friends – what else is there to be wishful for?

I am looking forward to our Provincial Championships – remember: Relax, Relax, and… Have fun!

And, of course: See, Smooth, Smoke – ONE!

P.S. It’s clear I haven’t mastered this patience ‘thingie’ – rushing to get a few more other things done I submitted this same article twice… oh, well – I can only hope tomorrow I’ll remember to wait and see my targets. Or, as Phil Kiner says in his last Trap & Field article: it’s simple – if you can’t see it, you can’t break it. Truer words have never been spoken… 🙂


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