I am on the way home from the 2019 Area 2 Steel Challenge Championship match at the legendary Hogue Action Range in San Luis Obispo, California. As I am sitting in the Phoenix airport awaiting my early morning connection, a feeling filled my conscious thought: gratitude. This was sharply followed by several thoughts. Over the past few years, it has been amazing to have the love of support from people I have yet to meet and those who have been by my side for as long as I can remember. It is always a humbling experience when I meet in person someone who has been following me and my shooting career on social media. This is an uplifting experience, and I will never lose my appreciation for the positive support.
Things are great when they are great and somehow they are still okay through the down times on the range. When times are tough, I always reach inside and think about why I am here competing. I spend countless hours a week at the range to what amounts to just over (1) minute of shooting on game day. It may be incomprehensible to some, but to those who are likely reading this will have a smile on their face when they think about that split second where they just crushed a stage for the first time, or received their first plaque, or achieved an unlikely goal when others didn’t see it coming. This is why we do it. Discipline. Goal Setting. Achievement. Giving back. Being a part of something. Whatever your reason, be safe and have fun while you are doing it!
This weekend was filled with a lot of each of these reasons stated above. Was I successful? I was able to shoot the two fastest times of the entire match. The real success and the reason why I took time off of work and to be away from my family is to spend time with my Steel Target Paint family and to support my good friend who put on an amazing competition, Kurt Grimes. I cannot find the words to express my love for my team and the fun we had both on and off the range. Being able to be a part of an amazing group of people is something I wish for everyone to experience.
I could not help but to appreciate every moment during my 4 day trip. It was the first time in a long time I just stopped and truly absorbed what was going on around me. The weather reminded me of the first real day of spring growing up in upstate New York. You know the day, when you are free of the oppression of winter and the summer car surfaces from the long hibernation. If you are a car person, your hair on your arms is sticking up like mine is right now. The comradery liken the times when I played lacrosse in school, everyone was leaning on each other for emotional support and got it when needed. It was just old fashion FUN!
Thank you to everyone who put on a memorable match from Kurt and his amazing wife Maria (we really know who did all the work). Thank you to the ROs for donating their time to make a seamless and safe match possible. Thank you for the fellow squad mates who took care of all the shared duties as a team. Thank you to all of the sponsors who sponsored the match; it was the right investment in the right match!
Thank you to all of my sponsors who make access to this journey and enabling me to perform with the best equipment available. Truly without these companies, I would not be able to have these experiences. Thank you to Larry Joe Steeley Jr for your friendship and partnership over the years; it means more than you know. Thank you to my supportive family lead by my amazing wife Teresa Foster who has provided me with unwavering support on this journey. Love you!
These are the best of times I am living right now. Now, time to hold on to them as hard and as long as I can!
See you out on the range soon,