My father got me clay shooting lessons as a birthday present, and I wasn’t too thrilled about it at first, but now that I’ve been going, I like it. I’ve never been too fond of using guns, but I warmed up to them pretty quickly. There’s something about firing the gun and hitting the clay targets that gives me a bit of satisfaction. I think it’s probably the same feeling people get when they’re driving a race car or flying a fighter jet. I suppose in a way it’s like a video game, except the feedback, the reward, and the environment are all real.
At my first shooting lesson, when I held the gun in my hand, my hands started to shake a little. In a way, I was a bit fearful of holding the gun. Lots of thoughts went through my head about what could go wrong with that gun. There were thoughts that I could drop it and it would fire, or I would fire at something and the bullet would ricochet, or I would accidentally shoot someone that would walk into my path while I was firing. My instructor insured me that none of those things would happen as long as I used the gun correctly and followed the proper safety protocols.
Each shot of the gun that I took made one of these thoughts go away. My mind changed from thinking about what would go wrong, to what could I do to make something go right. I was concentrating on hitting the clay targets that were being thrown. Those targets can move pretty fast, and if you blink, you might miss one. I’ve missed many shots because those targets were just too fast for me, but I’ve gotten better since my early days, and each hit puts a smile on my face.