Pretty soon, I’ll be in Tulsa, shooting the IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) 2010 National Championships at the awesome United States Shooting Academy facility. I’ll be competing in the Custom Defense Pistol (CDP) division for single action .45 autos such as the Wilson Custom CQB Elite I plan to use.
Do I have high hopes of becoming National Champ? Oh, HELL, no! The guy to beat this year is, I believe, going to be my team-mate on Team EOTAC, Bob Vogel. He has many times been the overall and/or Enhanced Service Pistol division national champ, and is rumored to be switching from 9mm to .45 this year. Now, I’m 62, and Bob is more like 26. He’s a splendidly conditioned athlete, and I’m a fat old couch potato. Bob is a driven competitor committed to excellence, and I’m a burned-out dilettante for whom IDPA really stands for “I Don’t Practice Anymore.” Bob darts like a leopard between the firing points, while I move more like a sloth on Thorazine. Me beat Bob Vogel? The term “snowball’s chance in hell” comes to mind.
So why go at all? Because, dammit, people like you and I CAN, that’s why. Neither you nor I are ever likely to get the chance to golf against Tiger Woods. We’ll never get a chance to exceed Plaxico Burress on the football field (though we daily exceed him in firearms safety).
The shooting sports are the most egalitarian that you’ll find in this exquisitely free nation. You get to meet the superstars. You get to chat with them “on the field, during the game.” YOU GET TO COMPETE WITH THEM HEAD TO HEAD. Show me another sport where you can reasonably expect to do that.
Am I gonna get my ass kicked? Ain’t much doubt about it. But I’m gonna get my ass kicked by the best, and probably learn something useful along the way, and have some fun doing it.
Is this a great country, or what?