Last fall, Caleb Giddings at Gun Nuts started a series of posts, which aired on Michael Bane's Down Range TV, called The Quest for Master Class. I thought they were informative and a good insight into what it takes to work hard to be the best.
I've never been threat to make Master in any of the groups I shoot with. While I did win a couple of matches a few years ago, recently I have been content to place in the middle of the pack. In fact, in GSSF, I've come in at the top third the last match I shot, and I have steadily improved for a few years.
But I've never come in last in a match. Until now.
This past weekend, I came in dead last in the Production division at a USPSA match.
Let this be a lesson to you, dear reader. You cannot cruise in any sport.
I admit, I did not practice at all since my last USPSA match. Yes, I had a couple of visits to the range, and I even shot my USPSA pistol. But I didn't practice. Practice is doing something inherent to the sport that will build muscle memory, or ingrain a concept. Just shooting is not practice. Shooting while paying attention to sight alignment, or trigger reset, or with my arms bent simulating a difficult stance is practice. I didn't do any of that.
When I saw the scores, I was surprised. There have been times in my life when I didn't practice much, and still did better. But I guess times have changed, and the competition is better. And let's face it, I'm older.
One thing is for sure, though - I am embarrassed, so much so that I considered not even blogging about it. I thought, if anything, I could use the impetus of this failure, this feeling, to drive me to improve. Then, in a few months, after I work my ass off and finish in the top half of a match, I can blog about the time I came in dead last, and used it to drive me to improve.
But I also know myself. It would be so easy just to stay where I am, not say anything, and not improve, if I'm not accountable to anyone.
But if I share this, then I'm officially on the hook, as it were. I know there are people who read this, and I can rely on them for feedback, either for ideas and encouragement, or not to read any more, which is feedback in itself.
So, starting today, look for a post at least once a week about My Quest for C Class. Because, officially, I can't get any worse.