Ever Beat Yourself Up For Fun? I Did and It Was Totally Worth It
Fun is totally worth some pain sometimes, isn't it?
Back in the day I loved to play baseball and my favorite part was catching. Those who play the position are often said to be "wearing the tools of ignorance," a saying that refers to the equipment needed to take the beating a catcher receives. Today my hands collectively hurt as much as they have in my entire, life without sustaining a direct blunt force injury like a foul tip of my metacarpals.
I took a practical pistol shooting class near Omaha on Saturday and Sunday. Over the course of the two days I learned a lot about what I do wrong shooting a pistol from one of the best shooters on the planet, Ben Stoeger, a USPSA national champion and IPSC world champion.
I knew going in the class would be challenging. I didn't realize how physically demanding it was, primarily on my hands. That turned into a mental challenge by the second half of the second day. I was already working on doing things differently with my grip, as it was the thing Ben harped me on all weekend. But to try to think about that, while mustering enough will power to squeeze a snappy .40 S&W pistol with a right palm that was rubbed so raw it looked like it had been sanded, and hanging onto the gun with a left hand that was home a blister that had popped, became a challenge that caused my brain to fatigue.
You may be wondering what caused my hands to be so sore from just shooting. It was the sheer volume of rounds fired. I had a .50 cal ammo can full on Saturday morning. At the end of Sunday I didn't have enough rounds left to cover the bottom of the can. I probably fired 1,800 rounds. That's almost four times more than I have shot in one session in my life.
My right hand is still swollen. It hurts to squeeze with my index and middle fingers. It was hard to run a vacuum when I got home. But I had so much fun training and learned so much about the sport I have become obsessed with, it was totally worth it.