I was reflecting today on my rough start to the world of competition shooting. It was in 2006 when I first picked up a pistol, but it had been a boyhood ambition to take this up as a sport. I had put in many years into many sports before this, but finally I got the chance to try it.
From the very start I was hooked, since i was a boy, when i first dreamed of picking up a competition pistol i knew i wanted to be a National Champion and one day, a WORLD CHAMPION. In my mind’s eye on the first day I picked up a pistol I knew that this was going to happen for me.
So I put the work in… At the outset I was terrible, my shots even when they actually made it onto the target, were so poor that the other shooters used to joke, asking me “Did you use a shotgun?” or “Well you paid for the whole target you might as well use the whole target.”
But I didn’t let it phase me, I knew where I was going to be, all I needed now was time, training and correct technique.
At the end of 2006 I was training to attend the National titles. Now in reality I was only going there to get experience from the competition and make up the numbers… But i wanted to learn the event structure and to watch the best competitors… But about a week before the competition, an old injury (the result of a motorcycle accident six years previous) finally gave way when my Quadriceps Tendon tore completely away from my kneecap.
I had been riding my motorbike to a martial arts event when two cars collided. They left me nowhere to go. I managed to avoid the first car with the bike, but my knee took the full impact on the vehicle cracking my kneecap and severing three quarters of my Quadriceps tendon away from the knee.
The original accident was painful, but as a martial artist I just ignored the pain and kept going. Six years later, and getting more painful by the day (it felt like someone was driving a four inch nail through my knee cap daily), the tendon finally snapped. I hit the ground hard, unable to get up.
The thing i knew I was in hospital having my leg cut open, screws threaded into my knee and the tendon pulled and stitched back onto the kneecap. They told me I wouldn’t run, or anything close to that for at least a year.
The National Shooting competition was over for me, and I would need many months of rehab, (basically having to learn to walk and run all over again). It was a little daunting during this time, as being an avid martial artist, fight choreographer and weight trainer, I wanted to train. I hated the fact I had been rendered physically incapable. to top it off, i had just taken on this amazing new sport, i had ambitions to win and now it was gone.
I felt empty inside, so I made a decision to come back. i would learn, get stronger and more skilled than I had ever been in the first place, and i would carve a path to victory.
It was tough, it was painful and it took time, but I realized from the very start and I was prepared mentally to go through all of these processes in order to heal and grow. I immersed myself into shooting training DVD’s and tactical books, I practiced drawing and dry firing from a holster whilst sitting on the lounge or bed and kept slugging my way forward… and eventually came back.
When ii did, I took my shooting more seriously than ever, working my way through the ranks from Sharpshooter to Marksman, expert to master and eventually to become a high master grade shooter. I made State and National teams, won the state and national speed shooting titles setting National Speed Records, and I kept learning, kept pushing, kept training until…. And this is the key word here… UNTIL!
You see if you want to be the best at something, you have to do what it takes UNTIL you get it, until you make it, until you breathe it and until you live it. Then and only then will you have what it takes to win. There is always more to do, more growth, more goals, more living and more achieving. Human kind was put here to grow and as individuals we were put here to flourish.
So embrace what greatness you have inside you and GROW! GVB