Life has a way of trying us with adversity and moments of self-doubt. During my undergraduate college years I was working a minimum of 40 hours a week and taking a full load of classes to pay for my education. There were many short nights and questionable choices of what was a priority; Was it work? Was it school? Was it my social life? There was just not enough time in the day to do everything so I had to take a step back and focus on the ‘Main Things’. What was going to be important to prepare me for the future? I decided to focus on my studies and the job which was affording me the opportunity of a college education. It does not mean it was easy listening to my friends talk about the great party which happened over the weekend. It was tough at a young age to make mature decisions to give me a fighting chance at what I wanted in life. Over the course of four years, self-doubt was abundant especially not knowing if my conviction was going to truly pay off. Shortly after I graduated with my four year degree, I landed a job that would shape my professional success for the next two decades to come. It did all work out.
I share this glimmer of insight with you because if you truly care about progressing as a shooter, you will encounter these moments of doubt. There will be times at the range, maybe at a practice session or a major match where things are not doing your way and you will say “I can’t do this anymore.” During these times it is important to remember why you started shooting in the first place. Why do you travel to matches? Why do you want to get better? For me, I stay grounded knowing I am doing this because it is a stress reliever and the social side of the sport is very fulfilling. It also invigorates my competitive spirit! When I started this journey two short years ago I promised my wife one thing: if it is not fun anymore, I will stop. Every day at the range may not be filled with ‘fun’ in the endless pursuit to be one of the best. Outside of my passion for the 2nd Amendment, the most rewarding of times is when I can help a fellow shooter, help a junior shooter, being able to give back, and when someone shares that I have helped them.
At the end of the day, you have to make sure the Main Things in your life are in order and hopefully it leaves some room to pursue something you love. Not everyone will always get it. There are people and situations that will try to take you down and cast self-doubt. A good friend of mine shared some advice with me recently in my professional life. He said, “Just because someone else may try to blow out your candle will not make theirs burn any brighter.” Someone told me a long time ago, it does take more effort to lift someone up than it does to push them down. What side of the coin are you on? The next time you see a fellow shooter struggling at a stage or having equipment issues – lend them a hand. Some of the seemingly small efforts will make a long lasting impact on the people you have the opportunity to influence as well as the sport.
With the utmost hope and optimism, see you out on the range soon!