Sometimes it is important in life to stop and remember our “Why”. Why are we doing something; be that being involved in a hobby, a sport, or even as drastic as our job. Some call it soul searching, others have other terms for it. Regardless, it is often a good idea to break the repetitious cycle and really spend time determining why we are doing something.
I had one of those events about a year ago. As I sat pondering my own involvement in USPSA/NROI I realized that I had not shot a Major match, just as a shooter, not as staff of some sort, since 2006 Area 1. This realization actually came as a bit of a shock. I had plans to shoot a Level 2 in my region in 2018 but all the smoke from the wild fires didn’t bode well for me so I had to bail and stay home. This year that same match moved on up to May and so a couple weeks ago I went and shot the match as “Justah Shewtar”. Yep, that was the name on the back of my jersey. Only a couple ROs were confused…which was pretty humorous because most of those that were confused took their Level 1 RO class from me…although I have lost most of a small person in weight and grown a beard since then.
I had the joy of shooting with several old friends who I have known because of USPSA since shortly after starting in the sport. We have shot together in other venues and enjoyed good food and fellowship for many years. We were also joined by some folks that are now friends because that is the way of things when hanging with shooters. And spending time enjoying something with people I enjoy being around really is part of my why. How many times have I heard, and said, I came for the shooting and stayed for the people.
I shot poorly, incurring many procedurals, using up too much white tape, and providing many opportunities for laughing and pointing; but, and this is the important part, I had a ton of fun! The grin on my face all during and after the match was pretty hard to miss. I knew the day I signed up for the match I wasn’t in danger of winning anything. I was just out there to enjoy the sport and remind myself why I got so involved in it in the first place.
You see, as I got more and more involved in the sport, because of my love and devotion to the sport and the people involved in the sport, I became so wrapped up in the details of match management and putting on matches I had lost track of my “why” for USPSA/NROI. And now I have re-found my why and plan to make more appearances as “Justah Shewtar” in the future. I’m going to be just as involved in putting on majors, teaching, and so on…but I’m going to try real hard to not forget why I love this sport so much again.
I hope that all of you that have read this far can learn something from my experience and not let yourself get to the point where you are so focused on a single aspect of the sport that you lose sight of your “why” in terms of the sport. Even those that are super competitive may need to step back and consider the why. No one is getting rich shooting our sport and the fame and recognition only goes so far.
Although, I think you will agree that USPSA is an absolutely wonderful way to spend our “free time” and the people involved in it, for the most part, are some of the best people on the planet.
See you on the ranges! And if you happen to run across “Justah Shewtar”, he’s just like any other shooter on the range…and keep the white tape handy.