This morning I woke up around 5:30am ready to start my day. Without an alarm and without a second thought, I hopped out of bed and immediately checked my phone. Checking my phone first thing in the morning has been a habit for a few years now. I don’t know when it started but I know when it ends. Today.
When I was little, I sucked my thumb until the night of my 13th birthday. That night I decided that I was too old to suck my thumb and I just decided it was time to stop. I had been sucking my thumb for 12 years. Every single night I would fall asleep sucking my thumb and twirling my hair between my fingers. This was my comfort zone. That night, I broke out of my comfort zone and had to fall asleep without the aide of my habits. I never thought about it again after that. It was that easy. All it took was me making up my mind to stop, and I did. My reason for stopping was so logical and rational that my mind didn’t even argue.
What if we could break any habit we wanted that easily?
Today as I shot my very first round of 12ga FITASC I was humbled by the difficulty of some targets whilst also crushing some targets I had previously struggled with. I also missed some targets that as my best friend would say, “you should never miss those.” What does all that mean? It means that my practice is paying off, my improved gunfit has made a difference, and that I still have a lot to learn. However, it also means that I have some habits that need to be changed. I know that because I am fully aware of why I miss most of the time.
Sometimes it’s the bad habit of stopping my gun when I pull the trigger. Other times it’s the bad habit of trying to measure the gap between the target and the end of my barrel instead of just trusting my hand-eye coordination. On two separate occasions I actually flinched as if my gun was somehow going to jump out of my hands and try to hit the target. All of these are bad habits that with enough practice and confidence I should be able to eliminate. All in all, I would say that my first FITASC was a success, I feel good about my shooting, I know what I need to work on, and I am happy with how I performed. Meaning… I did not let anything distract me; not dropping my phone and cracking the screen, or missing the easiest target of the entire competition, or even the mild headache I had from the weather. I shot my shots and did not keep score in my mind. I stayed true to my philosophy that this game is played one target at a time.
At the end of three and a half hours of shooting and staying focused I walked away with a 46/100. Yes that is less than 50% but I am not concerned with that. The targets at the Diamond Classic are notoriously hard and I wanted to give myself a strong baseline to improve from. Stay tuned on Sunday to see how my score compares to others in C Class…
It has taken me five and a half years to get comfortable shooting FITASC which includes shooting from a low mount position. Meaning the back of the shotguns stock must be 25 cm below the shoulder when the shooter calls “pull” and cannot be raised to the shoulder and face until the target is visible. I have been practicing shooting “low mount” for about a year now and I have often thought it really makes it so much easier to see the targets and not focus too much on the gun.
I have always seen every new day as a new opportunity because it is so much easier than living in the past. Through out every competition the temptation to be upset about missing a target is ever present. I had to learn a new habit to cope with that. Now I tell myself “It’s already in the past.” This phrase has been so engrained into my philosophy on targets that it has spilled over into my life. For every bad thing that happens, that makes me upset, I now find myself repeating those words to calm down and move on, “it’s already in the past.”
In this blog I just declared that I will be stopping my habit of checking my phone first thing in the morning. I will do that by replacing it with a new first thing. My new habit will be to read my bible first thing. Then I can check my phone second thing… There are many ways to change a habit. You can quit, like I quit sucking my thumb. You can replace it, like I will with checking my phone. You can also just keep working on it, like I will with stopping my gun, or measuring the gap. Those are harder to just quit or change, but regardless, I will give myself grace when they happen and tell myself “it’s already in the past” and try again.
I am a mother, an esthetician, a competitive sporting clays shooter, a shooting instructor, a writer, and above all a child of God with lots of life experience to share. I love living life in the most authentic way, being grateful for the good and the bad.