Ted’s essays

when low is high

I do not take it seriously … certainly when compared to those for whom Practical Pistol is LIFE.

It is a great sport. It has wonderfully useful real-world application. And I do admire those folks who can SMOKE the course.

A handgun you do not practice shooting is not much better than a pocket full of stones you don’t practice throwing. If you expect your pistol to be useful in a dire self-defense scenario, you dang-well better shoot it often enough to KNOW you can hit what you want to hit with it, and not hit what you want to not hit with it.

It is fun. It is a great skill set to have in your quiver. But I do have a lot of useful skills and projects that compete for my time and attention. I cannot choose practical pistol INSTEAD OF the others with any regularity. Thus I will never excel here.

Nevertheless, I definitely enjoy the matches that I do participate in.

The people are great, earthy, grounded real-world folks. The experience is good. The skill challenges are fruitful. I like testing, practicing and improving my defensive abilities. It is always rewarding to perform competently. Better still are those times when I exceed my standard.

Last Sunday I exceeded my mediocrity norm:
to finish at the top of the bottom third

… 33.3% of those participating.
I finished 30th out of 48 shooters.
Above my norm in my first match since October. The bottom of the top third. Off to a good start.

Understand this is a tough crowd. The top third, at least, work steadily at their craft. They practice year-round – drawing and clicking with unloaded guns to perfect each and every action involved in the matches. I don’t.

They gear up with made-for-purpose guns, ammo, slick-draw holsters and gun belts. I don’t.

I will never break into that upper echelon with my pure-practical every-day defensive gear and unwillingness to practice, practice, practice.

I have to remind myself that practical, tactical competence is the objective. I have other interests I need to pursue.

But, heck, moving above the bottom third mark does feel good.

It might inspire me to try just a tiny bit harder … to practice once in a while between matches.

But my life has a propensity towards getting in the way.

Here’s to shooting for a better year.