Journey To…


Welcome to “Journey To…”, a revised series spin-off from the previous “Journey to USPSA Regionals” series.  After nearly a year of working towards becoming competitive in the USPSA Regionals, we will outline in this article how I came to an epiphany with regards to this series. Read on for the exciting details.

The Journey Meets Reality

Becoming a Blogger/Publisher

Roughly a year ago when I started my journey to become competitive at a USPSA regional level, I decided to get my pistol shooting mojo back into gear. I wanted something to sink my teeth into and make me focus. Having competed in some IDPA matches, I just did not have the feel of what I was looking for. I shot some action pistol and pseudo (non-sanctioned) USPSA matches and really liked them.

At the time, I had not fully re-launched TheGaGG.com nor launched WildernessMaster.com. I had only shot in a few “club” matches and was not completely aware of the extent and scope of “rising through the ranks” to reach the level that I was targeting for myself.

For those of you who do not know, between the two websites, I am developing the content for roughly 4 articles a week and 16 a month. About a 1/3 of the articles are video or podcast work and 2/3 are written. In addition to the research, writing, video, audio and production work associated with all of that, I am constantly doing “field work” (building guns, shooting, backpacking, fishing, camping, hunting…).

It is a full-time job, but right now I have to do it part-time.

Weather and Aging

Full of excitement, I jumped head-on into my pistol training, but the weather gods did not want to cooperate. I would have a good week of weather to train, then the next would be a bad week. For those of you who have not followed the series, my main range is an outside range. Thus, bad weather = bad training.

Not one to let the weather set me back, I stepped back and made some improvements to my dry firing training. I had hopes of being able to weather (pun intended) the weeks of bad weather that we kept having. Soon, though, the rainy weather doubled-down to become rainy weather, then hot as Hades weather. By the way, for those of you not fortunate to live in the “South”, 3 days of rain, followed by 3 days of 90+ degree weather makes for not just hot, but literally steamy weather.

Let’s just say, keeping up a consistent and high-level of training to develop as quickly as I wanted was a total weather challenge.

During some of the hot weather training (or as I like to call it “sweaty hands training”), I noted that my weak side hand, given some “war wounds”, just was not able to keep the strength going during long shooting sessions. My thumb was injured years ago and some arthritis is setting in.

Getting old sucks.

Equally so, I realized after some long training/shooting events that the recovery just lagged. I was not full speed on days 2 and on. Plugging these variables into my mental calculator made me realize that my age was going to be a liability in becoming competitive as I wanted.

I am not deterred by difficulty nor do I give up, but these concerns clearly were in the back of my head.

You Can’t Eat Just One

Remember, my original purpose in starting TheGaGG.com was not to shoot just in the USPSA Regionals.  It was a broader journey into guns, shooting and gunsmithing. While I was on the path to becoming USPSA competitive, my TheGaGG.com activities exposed me to a lot of new things. I learned a new-found love for revolvers and I developed a greater appreciation of long-range shooting with rifles.  Let’s just say my “gun” appetite became like the old Lay’s potato chip saying, “I couldn’t eat just one”.

Coupled with the logistical issues noted above with my training, I started realizing my “drive” was not there.  My gun abilities were far wider in scope than to just become a great pistol or great pistol USPSA shooter.

This created a bit of a collision point. I trained harder, read more, watched more training videos and started taking some coaching and classes.  But, it became very clear that, in order to move towards those competitive levels, I would be required to focus exclusively on pistol shooting. The differences at that level were so small – you either only did USPSA or you could not be at that level.

Journey Meets Fork In The Road

If I am honest with myself, my greatest strength and greatest ability is one in the same. I am that consummate “Jack of all Trades”. Note, that I leave off the “Master of None” part. I do master things, but in a slower and more comprehensive way. I find that, except for exceptional situations, mastery is not as relevant as the wider scope of knowledge.

My quest to become USPSA competitive and my original TheGaGG.com journey were at a bit of odds. To feed one (USPSA journey) was going to starve the other (TheGaGG.com).

Photo courtesy of dragonflycap.com

About the time I came to this crossroads, I took a wonderful Defensive Pistol Class (thank you Jim). It was an intensive 3-day course. The course provoked me to realize my goal (originally) in pursuing this USPSA focus was to learn to shoot better, faster and more accurately – not to win trophies or glory. I wanted something that would push me out of my comfort and skills zone and make me grow.

At the time I decided on the goal, I was in a bit of a shooting rut.

The course did the exact opposite. It made me realize that I had moved so far out of the rut and I was now moldable clay. In those 3 days, Jim and Brady doubled my speed and distance shooting, both fast and accurately.

Welcome to “Journey To…”

As a result, it was sometime during the course that I decided I wanted to do that with all of my gun skills, not just with a pistol. As a result, I realized my “Journey to USPSA Regionals” had to become…

just “Journey To…”

What does that mean? It means this series is about my holistic TheGaGG.com journey, thus the “…” after the “Journey To”. All of my gun journeys will become part of this series. Do not worry, though, if you are an action pistol of USPSA fan – I still plan on doing and including that.  Actually, I expect I will do it more, due to the fact that the pressure will be off to drive towards a specific goal. I can now just shoot them for the experience and fun.

What should you expect? Well, a short list of topics (off the top of my head):

  • “Journey To…” precision and long-range rifle shooting
  • “Journey To…” defensive pistol/carbine shooting
  • “Journey To…” gunsmithing
  • “Journey To…” competitive shooting (different types)

Do not think that this is a complete list – it is not! If you know me, I am constantly growing, so expect much more.

Welcome to my new “Journey To…” .

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