I helped with setting up the match on Saturday, even though at the time I had some doubts I'd actually shoot it, the expected duration of the match conflicting with other commitments on Sunday evening. However, once I saw the cool challenges to Match Director had devised, I knew I had to work it out. (My apologies to family and friends for the late dinner date Sunday.)
Sunday morning was quite cool, and the temps were barely above freezing by the time we got started shooting. I laughed when I went to paste a hole in a target and my hands were shaking so bad I missed the hole with the sticker. I hoped that wasn't a sign of the shooting to come!
The match consisted of 7 field courses, a speed stage, and a classifier. All the stages were fun and a few I found especially intriguing. Stage 2, "Bookends," began with the shooter hanging with one hand from a bar while leaning far around a wall to engage targets shooting one-handed. The course of fire ended in a similar position, using opposite hand. The start, for this right-handed shooter, involved drawing the gun, transferring the gun to my left hand, grabbing the bar with my right hand, engaging three targets, transferring the gun back to my right hand, performing a reload, then moving to engage the next target array. I spent a lot of my walk-through time just rehearsing that portion of the course. Some "gamers" (which is perfectly legit in USPA) realized they could lean thru a gap in the walls and hit the last array without being forced to use the one-handed hang. I opted for the more fun way that the course designer had intended.
It was a long, and tiring day. I arrived at the range around 8:00 AM, the match started at 9:00, and I finally headed for home a little before 5:00PM. I've spent the winter months working on dry fire and movement, but I realized Sunday evening that I may need to better prepare myself for standing for 8-9 hours too! Despite the aching muscles, I'm looking forward to next month! Given the current ammo shortage, and ridiculous prices, I suspect the majority of my live-fire practice will be in the context of matches, rather than standing on the practice range.