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No one has a perfect week.

No one has a perfect week. Or a perfect day, for that matter.

What matters is the long haul.

The “keep going even though it’s a bit difficult.”

The drive to get it done.

An example:

Last weekend I competed at the national level in pistol shooting. It was a Friday-Sunday match, with 6-7 stages each day, and my squad was slated for AM, PM, and AM… not ideal. And what made it worse, the weather called for rain.

It rained all day Friday. And we started on the longer “field” stages with 14-16 targets, multiple steel engagements, and shots out to 25 yards.

It’s a competition, all timed, and the pressure’s on. I had a rough time getting started with good hits and missed quite a few of the longer shots due to moving too fast, being nervous, and wanting to perform.

Needless to say, Friday’s performance was rough. And my shooting partner got DQ’d after three stages for a safety violation. Bummer.

I spent the rest of that afternoon and that night getting my head right. I prepared for the next day of shooting. I imagined it couldn’t get any worse, right?

Correct.

Saturday saw seven medium stages (my favorite), and I performed at my career best. I had stage placements at 48th, 73rd, and 98th out of 500 shooters. So I was pleased as punch!

Lots of great shooters were there. Professional shooting teams from the Army, Marine Corps, and Secret Service. Sig Sauer’s whole team and Team Beretta were all there. They are all professionals.

For some of those stages, I beat even the best. Luck, perhaps? Or just pulling out all the stops and performing at 100%?

It’s hard to tell. But I’m better than average.

Overall, I finished up in 245th place of 500. Sure, you say, what a mediocre placement… I think of it as being in the top 250 nationwide! And that’s with a few bad stages…

Doing anything over time is never perfect all the time. You’ll have some ups and downs. You’ll have just as many bad stages in the match of your life as you’ll have good ones. And every once in a while, you’ll beat the odds and kick it into high gear!

This is the second time I have competed in a sport at the national level. At 44, I’m not quite sure what’s happening yet, but it’s certainly something to write down for the storybooks. The other sport is orienteering. Both are individual performance sports.

It’s just you, your gear, and your skills. Alone. On the range or in the woods. You’ll be alright if you make it out of the woods in one piece and point the gun in the right direction. ;-)

The next time you have a bad day at work, a tough time at home, or something doesn’t go your way the first time, dust yourself off and try it again. Keep going. Line up your compass in a new direction, and take another shot at it. You’ll hit the right mark sooner or later…

Here’s to next week and your next project.