Status Update & USA Shooting National Championships

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The blog has been quiet – too quiet – lately, and I’m finally back. Here is a short story about nationals and a status update on my unexpected “adventures” which caused the quiet.

This year, I returned to the USA Shooting National Championships after missing a few years while working to develop the NCAA rifle program at the University of North Georgia. Now that the program is running well on its own, having just completed their third year with a full time coach, I have recently come back to working on athlete development, which I enjoy and have had some excellent athletes in the past. Several athletes that I have the privilege to work with now were competing and I was able to see many old friends again.

The week got off to a great start. By Tuesday afternoon, two of my “older” (age twenty-something) rifle students had completed their first event, one finishing in the top 15 and the other in the top 10 (in a VERY competitive field!), while three new pistol athletes had successful training sessions and were ready to go in the morning.

That night at dinner, I felt sharp pain in my left side, which rapidly worsened. Less than two hours later, I was in a hospital emergency room, where I ended up spending the entire night. Diagnosis: my first ever kidney stone! I have never had pain like that! What a way to spend vacation, and not at home to boot. I spent two days in bed recovering, with friends stopping by the hotel to bring me food. (I was in no condition to travel!)

During the two days I missed, the three girls all did very well in air pistol based on their level of experience and they enjoyed themselves. (Two of them, and a new teammate, are competing this weekend at the Progressive Pistol nationals in the international standing position.)

Friday, two of my rifle athletes competed, one shocking herself with a very strong (top 10) day one performance coming off of a two year break with no training. Not a bad place to start from! Both did well and are working hard to improve.

Saturday, rifle finished up and one of the pistol girls tried her hand at sport pistol that day and Sunday, with only one previous sport pistol competition under her belt. She handled the pressure quite well and did not get disqualified for frame hits. (Her big worry!) The range officials were very patient with her and helped her any time she had a question or an alibi. She handled those like a champ and never got rattled! She loves the .22 and will keep shooting both pistols.

Overall – excepting the hospital visit – the week was very enjoyable, watching my athletes and seeing many old friends again.

After my hospital ordeal, I felt very weak those last three days at the range. I couldn’t even stay for the Sport pistol final to watch my friends compete. Very frustrating.

When I had a follow up visit with my own doctor a few days later we found out why: I was having an allergic reaction to the antibiotic the hospital had prescribed. Obviously it was not the immediate life-threatening variety of reaction, though I was pretty sick when I got to the doc and he was very concerned. At today’s follow up visit (one of many since June) with my doctor, he said I was in good shape, needed to continue to keep myself fully hydrated all the time, and to keep following the dietary guidelines that help reduce the incidence of kidney stones. Oh fun!

Those who keep looking for me to post the rest of my articles and some additional training resources including my front aperture selection chart on my web page on the Pilkguns site are probably wondering why they still haven’t appeared. (I was planning to finally do that right after nationals.) Also, regular readers of my articles in USA Shooting News and others who follow this blog are probably wondering why the blog had fallen silent. Now you know! Let’s see what I can get done this weekend….

In the mean time, feel free to browse earlier entries on this blog site and earlier articles on my web page.

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