I've always been told to keep my eye on the ball, don't pull my head, and don't swing for the high ones. Of course I'm referring to softball - but the same is true for nearly every other thing I've attempted do in my life. And I heard the same three comments yesterday when I was trap shooting with Justin.
Yesterday, Justin and I went trap shooting in Noblesville. It was an absolutely beautiful day.
I was extremely nervous. I didn't want to be like the kid on "A Christmas Story" and shoot my eye out.
I also didn't want to shoot someone else, especially my husband.
He was a brave soul bringing me to the shooting range...
Since I was the only girl there, I stood out in the crowd. And probably because I'm also tall, loud and draw attention to myself on a daily basis.
So before we knew it, there were old men left and right coming up to us giving us advice.
"So is this your first time shooting a shot gun," Bruce asked us.
"No," Justin lied. It really was his first time.
"Yes," I said. Always too honest for my own good.
So they started giving me the run down and told me to keep my eye on the bird. Follow the bird with our gun. Be steady. Aim low. Don't be scared.
But I thought we were shooting clay. Not birds.
"Um, so do you call the clay a bird?" I asked.
I knew I didn't have to look at Justin. I could feel the wind coming my way from him shaking his head and that was just the beginning.
My first round I didn't hit any "birds" - In fact, I don't even really know where I was looking or aiming. I just kind of saw something in the air, tried to point at it, and then pulled the trigger. But that wasn't very effective.
So I wasn't aiming.
I was jerking back every time I pulled the trigger.
And my biggest criticism: I'm always too high- on my targets- not drugs. I kept shooting OVER the bird.
So they started giving me advice again.Unfortunately it didn't matter. I didn't really know how to aim, which might sound stupid, but I didn't want to admit it at the time. Finally I got some advice that made perfect sense.
"60 percent of shot goes above the barrel...do you know what the barrel is?" he asked.
I shook my head "yes" --but I can understand why he asked.
"So make sure that you are actually a little below the target when you are aiming," he said.
And it worked. I shot my first "bird" and I did a little happy feet dance with the gun in my hand. I'm sure people were fearing their life at that moment since I was doing a jig like a four year old on their birthday, but I was extremely happy!
In the end, I hit 6 birds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, out of 50 attempts - but who is really counting? That is a great first time and I made new friends with the old guys, who are absolutely adorable in their little camo outfits and fanny packs that hold their shells.
"Thanks for letting us borrow your amo- is that what I am supposed to say?" I said to the man who let Justin borrow his gun and shells for a round.
"Something like that." he said and laughed. "Close enough."
Justin shook his head again. Always an adventure with me...
So how can I make this blog inspiring? I'll use my three biggest areas of improvement as examples (sounds better than saying three biggest weaknesses, doesn't it?)....
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
It's the same thing as keeping your eye on your dreams. If you start to lose sight of what really matters in life, take a step back to align your visions with your dreams and hopes. Then you will certainly hit all your targets and aspirations in life.
Don't Pull Your Head
Don't be afraid. When I pulled my head in softball, I was afraid I'd miss the ball. But sometimes you just have look at people, events, and obstacles in life head on. No turning away. No turning back.
Don't Swing for the High Ones
This one comes easy for me. You can't always hit every ball that comes your way- just like you can't manage every project, please every person, or be at every wedding, party, or weekend trip. But that is okay. Don't spread yourself to thin. Sometimes you just need to say "NO" and that doesn't make you weak or a bad person. When you stay in the middle and keep that balance in life, you will be much happier. And probably take down a few birds and knock out some home runs.