Slowly the days start to return to normal – it is still a frenzy, mostly because the weeks before Provincials I had to push things down the list and they are creeping slowly, but surely, back on the top.

I’ve been looking back at the Provincial days, and the whole year and I still can hardly believe the whole competition season is almost behind us. There will be one more major competition, Cardinal Classic next week, and then the LTS Summer Games on the 29th… and… that’s basically it for 2009. We will have a few 2010 shoots in September: the major St. Thomas on the long weekend, Toronto International the week after, and a Hamilton Gun Club competition on the 19th.

What do I remember the most of this year (I am referring at the competition year, of course)? I will forever remember the impression our Gold Teams made wherever we went. And I am not talking about colour here, or not only – because the colour itself was a great distinction. I am talking mostly about the feeling we shared – of being together, of being a Team, proudly representing what our school stands for: Safety – Performance – Fun!

The next I will forever remember how all the people came to recognize us – to all gentlemen and ladies @ the Provincials (and not only) who stopped by just to say ‘Good job!’: we thank you for your nice words. Every single word of enouragement matters to us and we appreciate yours. To understand the depth of our appreciation you should understand the state of the trap shooting community in Canada, and especially in Southern Ontario. Look around yourself when you are next at your club and see what is the average age of the shooters… it is a sport that seems to get older and older every year. And we need the advice of our excellent shooters, we need it badly and we need to pass it to next generations. What we are trying with the school is to bring the new generations into the sport. What we will need from our community is to share their wisdom with the new generations, to be gentle and helpful. Remember when you first started before you criticize next time! Like Thumper’s Dad taught his son: ‘If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all!’ And again – to all that found in their hearts to say something nice: THANK YOU!

I will probably remember as a blur all the activity at each and every shoot. All the fun we had on the range, competing or in practice. I will wonder how I could ever shoot all year without real practice and I will try to practice some more into the new year.

I will remember that results are not important, what really counts is performance. I will remember with distinctive love the day when I finally ‘got it together’ again. It’s the next best feeling after the Zone. I will keep a precious memory of my round of practice this last weekend when Florin and I played some games in handicap and I will try to remember forever that I can, indeed, blast targets from 27 yards; even better than at 22… It will come in handy in the future, when I will gain some ‘real estate’ for my handicap.

And last, but not least, I will remember our friends and trapshooting family: it is growing larger and stronger every year and it makes me happy.

And I will always remember William’s smile when we tell him we have to go to the range, or the seriousness he takes his miniCoach job on. Only last week, after quietly listening to Head Coach explaining a set of information about ammo, trap events and what not to a group of nice ladies and gents trying trapshooting for the first time, he politely asked if he can ask a question. When permission was (graciously) granted by his Dad, what does miniCoach ask? We could hardly believe his 6 years could come up with something as serious and as complex as this notion, but here you are: “When you are shooting doubles, can you use different type of shells for the first shot and second one?” Which shows he does, indeed, listen to all that comes from Daddy and Mommy… And after a moment of gaping at him (all 11 adults available) he got his answer in all the seriousness it asked for.

Now you have to ask him the same question and listen to the answer – I promise you’ll have a blast!

 

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