Friday, November 10, 2006

On Target

I’m usually really poor at any activity that requires a steady hand or aiming at a target.

Remember that game Operation? As a child my young heart would sink when a friend suggested a game; old shaky paws here could only ever do the bread basket – anything else and the buzzer would sound almost instantaneously.

Ten-pin bowling? That’s just a way to break nails and embarrass yourself as far as I can see.

So when it was announced that as celebration for the successful completion of a large programme of work, we were taking a group from our team and the client’s, clay pigeon shooting, I was somewhat apprehensive to say the least.

On top of this, I really don’t like guns and the whole gun culture thing. Guns to me mean bloody conflicts and local communities torn apart by crime. When you see a gun round my way, it’s not going to be a happy ending.

Is shooting as a sport sufficiently disengaged from the destructive side of things? I don’t know. It’s not a world I’ve ever felt inclined to investigate.

Still, I do believe in being open to new experiences, so I agreed to go, even though I felt more than a little ambivalent about the prospect.

And so I found myself on a cold drizzly afternoon in November, holding a shot gun and attempting to follow a lump of ceramic whizzing overhead at some speed.

Some of my male colleagues did seem to get some kind of rush from the whole gun thing, but happily that past me by completely. In fact I seemed to disassociate from the whole weapon element of it and engage purely on a skill and accuracy front.

The second pleasant surprise of the day was that, as it turns out, defying my expectations and fear, I’m actually quite good at it.

We did six clays at each of six traps and I was quietly immensely chuffed to score 29 ‘kills’ (ok so I didn’t like the terminology) out of the possible 36. In fact as all the groups returned to the lodge, it transpired that I’d actually come joint top out of our party of about 40. Not bad for a girlie eh?

I have to say that it was mainly down to our wonderful instructor, who I think picked up my lack of confidence and was just such an excellent coach and so affirming that it made all the difference.

In addition to the esteem boosting satisfaction of knowing that there is at least one steady aim, target based activity that I have some aptitude for, my efforts also saw me rewarded with this errrr ‘lovely’ trophy.

I also came away with a rather large bruise on my left shoulder from the recoil action, but some things in my life will not be photographed for this blog…

1 comment:

sally said...

Go girl! Another point scored for the fairer sex....well done xxx