I have been on the road for almost two weeks. Two weeks! I am so happy, happy, happy to be home. By the way, I have travel stories to share later (American Airlines, you suck!).
I have not been to the range for over two weeks and, quite frankly, was terrified that some of the progress I've made would evaporate. This morning John and I shot an IDPA match - five stages and about 90 rounds. I was nervous, but I still forced myself to slow down and move with intention. This approach has helped me improve my accuracy over the past month... and today it paid off!
Today's trigger time was truly happy time. I had many small victories. Let's review:
Yippee #1: No procedural errors. I usually do not get a lot of these, but today there was a lot of running and gunning. I usually do better when I don't have to move much. For example, I had to shoot in tactical sequence and retreat at the same time. The stages that require simultaneous walking and chewing bubble gum can sometimes rock my world.
Yippee #2: No "hit on a non-threat" penalties. Normally my bullets are attracted to the no-shoot targets like a moth to a flame. There were lots of tricky target arrangements at each stage (thank you, nutty Match Director). These pesky penalties add five (FIVE!) whole seconds to the total time. I usually rack up at least two or three during a match. Not today!
Yippee #3: No "failure to neutralize" penalties. This is huge! In IDPA at least one round must hit in either the zero or -1 part of the target for it to be considered properly "neutralized." I've been fighting a nasty habit of trigger jerking for a while now... with this habit the bullets hit low and left. I am so sick of hearing "down six with a failure" I could hurl. Ninety rounds and not one FTN! These pesky penalties add five whole seconds to the overall time, too. Between yippee point #2 and yippee point #3 it is obvious why I come in last.
Yippee #4: Points down were way down. I normally have the most points down in any given match (I actually hold a record). Today, I was above average! Above average! The average points down for the match was 42.6. Please do not snicker at my geeky analysis. My total points down for the match were 38! Hot doggies!
Yippee #5: I did not come in last! Granted, I was the tortoise in today's match, but because my accuracy improved and my pesky penalties were zilch I made up some overall time.
After a subtle post-match happy dance, I shot the IDPA classifier. John and I are headed to Michigan for their state match next month and I needed an official classification... another 90 rounds of trigger happy time.
Final Yippee: I am no longer a novice... I'm now a marksman!
I am so excited about my progress! After two weeks of trigger deprivation and exhausting travel I am tickled pink to be home, and also to be on the right track with this new hobby!
Now, I just need to figure out how I can get marks-chick put on my classification card.