Subtitle: Growing old isn't for sissies.
Last weekend I participated in the monthly USPSA match held by North Mountain Practical Shooters. I was looking forward to the match as I haven't been able to shoot in a match since the July 3 Fredericksburg event. This match would also be the last chance to practice before the USPSA Area 8 Sectional next month.
The afternoon started out with some light rain, but later the sun came out making for a warm, humid day. Personally, I would have been happy with the cloud cover and light rain! I started out a little slow, racking up some no-shoots and misses early on. I eventually got into my groove and was happy with how I was shooting. The highlight of the day was a good run on the classifier stage. After some disappointing classifiers the past couple of matches, I was pleased to shoot well on this one. I finished 8th out of 22 Production shooters on that stage, and I think my score will boost my classification average slightly. I ended finishing three stages in the top 10, but that's not what I remember most from this match.
On the last stage of the match, after engaging the first couple of targets, I was leaning way out to see around the wall when my left knee suddenly gave out, and down I went. I managed to get back up, but was feeling a lot of pain and my knee felt like it might give out again. I waved to the R.O. and "surrendered." What a way to end the match.
I was looking forward to shooting that particular stage and had asked a squad mate to record me, so I did get a video of the incident. Trying to see a good side to this non-finish, I was pleased to see that I maintained a safe posture at all times. My finger came off the trigger and the muzzle remained pointed downrange. It is very satisfying to see something we practice kick in subconsciously.
I can't say enough about my squad mates that afternoon. Everyone was very helpful in getting me to my chair, providing an ice pack, helping me stow my gear safely, and even bringing my car down from the parking area. Walking was quite difficult and all the assistance got me on the road back home.
Almost a week later, I'm still feeling some pain, and the knee is unstable. The primary diagnosis was labeled "internal derangement." Initial results from x-rays and an MRI show no obvious tears to ligaments or cartilage, which is a good thing. I'm told there is some "degeneration." I will be seeing an Orthopedist soon, and am hoping for some good news on treatment.
Oh yea, that Area 8 match coming up next week? I'm still hopeful that I can participate, but am taking one day at a time. I certainly don't want a repeat of the fall or the pain of last week.