Due to circumstances beyond my control otherwise known officially as “Life Happens,” I haven’t been shooting anywhere near as much as I had hoped to. There’s been a lot going on and I could have easily stalled my return and let the excuses keep coming. Or, I could charge forward, check the ego at the door and push. I chose the latter and hopped on a plane to shoot my first USPSA major this year and my first area championships since having my second sweetling.
I knew it would be tough. I knew it would be humbling. I knew I’d have a great time all the same.
One of 8 regional championships in United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) competitions, the 2014 Area 8 Championship was hosted by Fredericksburg Rod & Gun Club in Fredericksburg, VA. The 10 challenging courses of fire included a field course with all head shots and a 30+ yard mini steel popper. Stages featured tough shots, extreme transitions, long runs and precision footwork.
I probably sound like a broken record, but you meet the best people in the shooting sports. Sure there are the occasional few that defy this sentiment, but they are the exception and not the rule. You meet people like Area 8 Director Steven Thomas who extended the invitation and sponsored the Ladies Production Team at the match so we could shoot a warm up together before the Nationals and the World Shoot. You meet people like grand master shooter Brandon Wright who helps you walk through the stages. You meet friendly Range Officers who volunteer their time, working hard in the heat so you can have a blast runnin’ and gunnin’ through challenging courses of fire. Pro shooters like Todd Jarrett pick up your camera to grab videos so you can study it to become better. Talented lady shooters support and help you get back on your game.
I carried a load of self doubt and nerves to Virginia, but as soon as I got there I felt welcome and encouraged. I struggled with the embarrassment of missing steel after steel target, but felt invigorated from my teammates cheers when I put things together for a solid run. I thought I would bobble more reloads, but I stuck more than I fumbled. I worried about my movement with a bad knee and being slow on my set ups, but I wasn’t that far off the pace.
Even though I ended up with double digits in penalties, I had a few decent stages too. My performance was good enough to place third among the women in the Production Division behind champ Sara Dunivin and Maggie Reese. I got a good bit of video, video I will be studying and using to develop a training plan for the upcoming weeks as I balance Life Happenings with giving it my all. Here it is…
Gear: Smith & Wesson M&P 9L (stock) with Warren Tactical Sights, Rand CLP, ASYM 147 gr. Ammunition with Starline Brass, Rudy Project Ability, and Safariland ELS Production Rig. As always, a huge thank you to my sponsors for their support.