Sometimes, we have to sit quietly in order to move forward with vigor. My daughter and I just spoke of this very issue. To sit and do nothing, to disengage from “the gang” for short periods of time actually constitutes a vital action. Spending an evening alone used to put me on edge, like the jitters one feels before a match. I felt like I needed to crawl out of my skin, I felt so awkward. Learning acclimate to ME means focusing on the moment, paying attention to the rhythms of my breathing, actively attending to emptying my mind. I remind myself to feel the floor under my feet, to feel my lungs expand and contract, to feel my heart beat. Getting quiet calms the nerves and calms the mind, preparing our entire selves to better face the rigors of whatever presents itself next: the job, school, chores, decisions to make, or a pistol match. Doesn’t this process sound confusingly similar to facing the next course of fire? When I learned that my personal time was equally important to my performance as was my physical presence at the range, I saw marked improvement. Paying attention to my breathing, my stance, my focus, my aloneness, before I ever got to the range, made me a better shooter on the line. Let’s face it: when in competition, we stand shoulder to shoulder with dozens of other shooters, but, in reality, we position ourselves on the line with only our pistol and ourselves. Therefore, learning to be by yourself in a calm state will bring calm and improved performance in the public setting, whether it is for qualifications, competition or a real gunfight. Go forth and engage in calmness.
NRA Firearms Instructor – Nancy Rothschild
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