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Think of all of the great memories you have from winning them all though. No matter what happens with your trophies, you get to keep all the good times being around your friends, & fellow shooters

And no one can take them away. The accomplishments and accolades may fade, the man that earned them did not. They do not represent you, you represent the skill to earn them.

I counted down the years, months, weeks, days, minutes and hours until I retired from the Army, never realizing what it truly meant to me. It was part of my soul. I came to understand pretty much what I wrote above. Just like you amazing ability to shoot became an everyday part of who you are today. It’s not gone, you still own it....and the It is You!

Look for it...and you will find it. Nobody shoots like you for over 50 years and does not ingrain that same precision into several aspects of your life.
 

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"… just a locker to be cleaned out, and a ride home to catch. But what they didn't know, was that their lives had been changed forever because they had been part of something great. And greatness, no matter how brief, stays with a man."
Coach Jimmy McGinty -- The Replacements

Its a corny quote from a silly movie, but I always felt this had some truth to it. To me, the stuff doesn't matter ... it's more about how moments of personal excellence can change your life and the lives of those around you for the better.
 

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Congrats to everyone who wins trophies and awards, but it's just stuff. Dust to dust. Ain't none of us taking stuff with us.

never saw a u haul behind a hearse
 

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Only shooting trophy I’ve ever won was for shooting free throws. Had the most attempts and highest percentage on the team when I was twelve in 1968. I run into it now and then down in the basement. It’s not much but it sure takes me back every time. Probably like a lot of guys here I played a lot of sports for longer than I should have. I remember a few things about those times. Individual plays or things that happened. But mainly I remember the guys I played with and against. We had some great times.


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Only shooting trophy I’ve ever won was for shooting free throws. Had the most attempts and highest percentage on the team when I was twelve in 1968. I run into it now and then down in the basement. It’s not much but it sure takes me back every time. Probably like a lot of guys here I played a lot of sports for longer than I should have. I remember a few things about those times. Individual plays or things that happened. But mainly I remember the guys I played with and against. We had some great times.


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I won a frozen turkey in a trap shoot when I was 10. I think I broke 3/25 with my 20-gauge Topper Jr. That's pretty good shooting with my eyes closed!
 

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I have experienced much of the same as discussed above.
Although shooting awards are common in our shooting communities what isn't obvious is the time, effort and expense leading up to each award. The higher level of competition the more goes into earning that award.
Shooting registered and approved matches requires travel and time away from home and family. A championship like the "Governors 20" or state championship may require 10 of these to qualify. And shooting more that 10 might be required to overcome a sub-par match. Add to that several classifications and "Distinguished Pins" and the expense goes up exponentially. Doing this over 10,15 or 20 years is like a second job.

The end result are plaques and trophies that take up wall space, shelf space and collect a lot of dust. Sometimes even a picture in a publication.

Was it all worth it? You bet! Would I do it over again? You bet! Any regrets? None! Does anyone I know understand any of this? Only a handful of close friends and shooting associates.

At 70 something and retiring from the grind of competitive shooting has allowed me to focus on what is really important to me now, FAMILY!

I still hit the range at least once a month and hopefully I get to share what I've learned over 50+ years as a competition shooter.

Smiles,
 

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AHHHHH Yes FAME! It is fleeting and Father Time is not kind!

Hunter Thompson says it best--“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
 
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