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Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane

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Train to the Pain

I had a personal trainer a few years ago who was addicted to pain. He was the son of an emotionally abusive mother and living with that abuse first made him an alcoholic and then later on a fitness fanatic. He told me the story of how he changed his life in one day. He lived in Florida at the time and was working as a waiter in a fine restaurant. He made a lot of money but would spend most of it on drugs and alcohol. Anyway, he got fired from work one day(never been fired before), came home to the apartment where he was living with a girlfriend, the girlfriends dog bit him (still has the scar today) and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. He packed his bags, had just enough money to buy a plane ticket home, got drunk on the plane, called his Dad to pick him up at the airport, Dad came and got him, he moved home, stopped drinking and changed his life.

What inspired me most about working with him was his ability to push himself through pain both physically and mentally. When I was training with him he was running marathons. He mastered marathons so he decided to start running ultra marathons. He ran a race once that required him to run for 24 hours straight. He was able to push himself when everything in his body was saying STOP. :o I'm sorry but that is mentally tough! Pain has become his friend.

What does this have to do with me? I don't train to the pain. When I say train to the pain I don't necessarily mean train to the point of hurting myself. What I mean is training to the point of making myself really uncomfortable. For example: when I swim it will mean not just lap swimming, but will also include sprints on the clock, and not slowing down 2 strokes out before touching the wall. It will mean lifting weights that make my muscles sore the next day. It will mean keeping records of all my physical fitness activities to be sure I'm getting faster and stronger. It will mean accomplishing a goal each time I work out and getting that goal no matter what. It's hard to physically train by myself because there is no one there to push me. I'm going to have to learn how to push myself. I need to get comfortable making myself uncomforable. ;)

Why? I want to be able to attack when necessary. Training to the pain, making myself uncomfortable, and practicing goal achievement, will allow me to take those skills to the playing field. It will allow me to develop a competitive spirit instead of a participatory one.

I once was able to discuss a similar topic with a soldier in the Army. He was a member of a fairly elite group of soldiers.

Somehow we got on this topic of best ways to die. Don't exactly remember how - but he says drowning. I was very startled - I'm like "how could drowning be the best way to die?"

He says to me that one thing he had to do in order to get into the unit was get into a pool and hold his breath until he passed out. If his head came above water he wouldn't be let in. So he gets in the water, goes under, and holds his breath as long as he can. Obviously he gets to a point where his body needs a little oxygen. He stays under. His body starts to pulsate as it starves for every ounce of oxygen in his blood stream. He stays under. He told me that he learned his body wouldn't physically allow him to take in water. He passed out, they pulled him out, he was in the unit.

I was less fascinated about the fact that his body wouldn't allow him to take in water and more impressed that oxygen was a scant foot above his head and he had the will power to ignore every survival instinct his body told him and stay under . . .

Ok - that is mental toughness.

I understand better what perspective you were coming from.

J

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Thanks for sharing Jack. Your friend is one tough dude.

Basic Instinct

I'm going deer hunting tomorrow with my brother. I just finished my ground training which included: viewing a 45 minute DVD called "Safe Treestand Hunting Strategies", getting fit with my safety harness and actually hooking on to a tree and hanging, learning how to hoist an unloaded shot gun with a rope, shooting 20 g shot gun at 50 and 25 yds to find my kill zone (25 yds ;) I can only wound one at 50 <_< ), and practicing gun holds in various positions.

I don't know why after all these years I want to go hunting but I do. I want to see the sun rise and the woods come alive sitting in a ladder stand. I want to experience the basic human instinct of hunt and provide. I want to know what it feels like to kill one, dress one, and put it in the freezer for your family to feast on for the winter. I think that has got to be somewhat satisfying. I also want to know what it feels like to come in from the woods and sit down to a Thanksgiving feast I didn't have to put on the table. :D;)

I view this experience as cross training. It's a mental toughness exercise because I'm having to deal with pain and fear.

Training to the pain:

It's going to be cold

It's going to snow or rain

The shot gun really hurts my shoulder when I take a shot

Fear Factor

Climbing a tree in the dark and hooking on (inexperienced)

Alone in the dark in the woods (the bro will be about 200 yards away, we'll have radios with ear pieces and whistles)

Sitting in a tree stand with a loaded shot gun...don't want to fall

I shot about 25 slugs today at a paper plate. It was really hard for me not to flinch at first because I knew when I pulled the trigger the gun was going to hit me hard in the shoulder. It's hard to have follow through and keep your eye on the target when the gun is exploding and hitting you hard in the shoulder. This is the reason I need to shoot the shotgun more often. Being able to stand there and take a punch without flinching I think is a fantastic mental and physical exercise. I see 3 gun somewhere in my future as a cross training exercise. Once we added some padding to my shoulder, my hits got better.

I'm off to Walmart to get a few other things I need for the hunt tomorrow. I'll post tomorrow and let you know what the experience was like.

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Good luck on the hunt, Jane!

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Good Will Hunting

My brother arrived at 5 am. We outfitted in my garage: coveralls, rainsuits, safety harness, filled pockets with needed items (cell phone, whistle etc), and loaded our back packs. We loaded my truck and off we went to the woods. On our way to the woods we saw 2 doe by the roadside and 3 raccoon. My brother said that was a good sign. We parked the truck about 1/2 mile from where we were going to be. Got out of the truck as quiet as possible, put backpacks on and gathered shot guns. We walked down a gravel road making efforts to do so quietly. We entered our land through the pasture striving very hard to walk quietly across the grass. I followed my brother's every foot step. It was raining lightly and dark. We arrived at my ladder stand and my brother climbed it first to check the straps. The moment of truth had arrived. I was going to climb that ladder in the dark and tie in. I did so with a red colored flash light fastened to my chest and a small back pack on my back. I had trouble getting the strap around the tree without twisting but finally did it. I sat down and I had tied on for the perfect tension on my harness. Up came my shot gun and I loaded and made ready (safety on). My brother whispered have fun and left me. So there I am about 2 stories high in a small tree with a loaded shot gun across my lap, rain coming down gently, the wind gently blowing my small tree back and forth in the dark. I took a deep breath and another to steady myself. I closed my eyes and tried to relax. This is what I came for wasn't it? :unsure:

I placed my backpack on a hook that my brother had placed in the tree. To get to the pack I had to stand up, and turn around. The platform I was on was probably about 18 inches wide. So the first thing to learn was, how to stand up, turn around, get into my pack, and still keep control of the shotgun at all times. After I figured that out, I felt a little more comfortable.

I would describe the woods as a "finger tip" woods. It was approximately 50 yards wide and on each side of it was pasture. I was in the middle of this woods towards the end of it (think finger nail of a finger) I had sight pictures both to the right and left of me in both pastures.

First light 0715 I was startled to see a buck to my right with a doe following behind him. The pair moved from the right pasture to the left pasture but stayed 50-75 yards away from me at all times. Approximately 15 minutes later another buck and doe make the EXACT same path. This time I got my shot gun up and had the buck in my sight for a shot to the shoulder at approximately 50 yards but I didn’t take the shot. I heard my brother's voice inside my head "We're here to kill deer, not wound them." I didn't want to spend my Thanksgiving Day chasing a wounded deer in the woods. We determined yesterday that my kill zone was 25-35 yards with the gun I was shooting. Another hour passes and here comes 5 doe walking up the pasture on the left. Once again I have a doe in my sight at 50 yards with a good shot and don't take it for the same reason. Another hour passes and a single doe comes up the pasture on the left. She senses me or smells me and takes off.

So in summary, I saw 2 buck, 8 doe and I didn't take a shot. A better hunter with a larger kill zone would have had a field day today. The experience has made me want to get more confident and proficient with a shotgun OR purchase a better gun to hunt with that allows me to kill at 100 yards.

I want to call in sick tomorrow and go again but Dave says I have to go to work. :angry2: I'll be going again next year. Next year I'll be ready to kill one. ;)

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Yeah Jane ..... you're an open gun shooter at heart right ? Just take the trusty race gun, and you be takin' all sorts of shots ! ;)

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You guys are EXACTLY RIGHT!!!!

I asked my brother if I could shoot the deer in the head with my race gun and then later shoot it with the shot gun. He told me "No" <_<

He thinks I could be deadly with some sort of pistol caliber rifle. I was shooting a 20 g shot gun with a scope which I haven't shot very much. When we did some shooting at the range we started out at 50 yds. I was flinching because the gun was hurting me. I got all around the paper plate we were shooting at but nothing in the kill zone. We moved up to 25 yds and placed some padding on my shoulder...and I was in the paper plate. I WISH we would have gone back to 50 yards with the padding! This is my regret and all day yesterday I questioned myself wondering if I could have made the 50 yard shot. BUT here is the thing...hunting is like IPSC...you've got to know what you can and can't do at various distances. Taking a chance on a shot and being wrong was going to cost me and that deer way to much. ;)

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I asked my brother if I could shoot the deer in the head with my race gun and then later shoot it with the shot gun. He told me "No" <_<

Aw, man... he's, like, no fun.... <_<

You did exactly the right thing, though. If you can't insure a solid shot, let it go... there'll be another time ;) I'll bet the time in the woods was a treat, though :)

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Jane, try using some Remington reduced recoil police slugs. I think they make them in 20 gauge. I've shot a few deer with them using irons and it just floors them. Never had them take a step. I think the shoot 11.5 inches low at 100 yrds. Fifty yards they are a no brainer. Also what kind of choke are you using or is it a slug dedicated shotgun?

Maybe getting into 3 gun..... Now your talking! Bring Rhino down and shoot a match with us next spring.

Chris C.

Edited by Chris Conley

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I asked my brother if I could shoot the deer in the head with my race gun and then later shoot it with the shot gun. He told me "No" <_<

Aw, man... he's, like, no fun.... <_<

You did exactly the right thing, though. If you can't insure a solid shot, let it go... there'll be another time ;) I'll bet the time in the woods was a treat, though :)

I needed to hear that. I'm haunted by the sight of that buck in my scope!

I went to work yesterday....was there about an hour....and that was enough to have me LONGING to be in that tree again....even with the rain, wind, and snow....in a tree with a shot gun is a better place than work. ;)

Yeah..I really liked the time in the woods. I've awakened this morning to the thought...shooting and hunting is all about being quiet. People who don't shoot would NEVER understand that. I like the quiet...it doesn't matter if I'm sitting in a tree stand with a shot gun, or shooting my open gun with a quiet mind....it's all quiet....and I love it. :wub:

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Jane, try using some Remington reduced recoil police slugs. I think they make them in 20 gauge. I've shot a few deer with them using irons and it just floors them. Never had them take a step. I think the shoot 11.5 inches low at 100 yrds. Fifty yards they are a no brainer. Also what kind of choke are you using or is it a slug dedicated shotgun?

Maybe getting into 3 gun..... Now your talking! Bring Rhino down and shoot a match with us next spring.

Chris C.

For the last 4 years it has always been a "maybe" on the 3 gun thing BUT this year I think we will be attending some 3 gun matches. Rhino has always been supportive of us and has been patiently waiting for the Ball family to expand our shooting into 3 gun. :) I think this may be the year.

Thanks for the suggestion on the ammo. I've already got it in my head to put a hunting gun together. I don't know what that is going to be..but I do know by next Thanksgiving I WILL have a gun that will allow me to kill a deer at 100 yards. ;)

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Jane, the reduced recoil slugs are a good idea but if you want some range and accuracy try a rifled slug barrel on that 20 gauge. I'm not sure if your shooting an auto or not, to lazy to look, but that would reduce the recoil as well, as I'm sure you already know.

My choice for a deer slayer in 20 ga would be a 11-87 with a sluggster barrel and cantilever (sp) scope mount and 3x9 but thats just me.

OR get a rifle in a large pistol caliber like 44 mag that should have less recoil and still do the trick out to 50 or so.

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Jane, try using some Remington reduced recoil police slugs. I think they make them in 20 gauge. I've shot a few deer with them using irons and it just floors them. Never had them take a step. I think the shoot 11.5 inches low at 100 yrds. Fifty yards they are a no brainer. Also what kind of choke are you using or is it a slug dedicated shotgun?

Maybe getting into 3 gun..... Now your talking! Bring Rhino down and shoot a match with us next spring.

Chris C.

For the last 4 years it has always been a "maybe" on the 3 gun thing BUT this year I think we will be attending some 3 gun matches. Rhino has always been supportive of us and has been patiently waiting for the Ball family to expand our shooting into 3 gun. :) I think this may be the year.

Thanks for the suggestion on the ammo. I've already got it in my head to put a hunting gun together. I don't know what that is going to be..but I do know by next Thanksgiving I WILL have a gun that will allow me to kill a deer at 100 yards. ;)

Come on down, Rhino knows the way. We shoot multigun every month that there is a 5th Saturday. Red brush shoots every 5th Sunday in Newburgh, IN. Not far from you all. You know if you start you're jaws will hurt until you do it again. It's from the big ol smile on your face.

Chris C.

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Jane, try using some Remington reduced recoil police slugs. I think they make them in 20 gauge. I've shot a few deer with them using irons and it just floors them. Never had them take a step. I think the shoot 11.5 inches low at 100 yrds. Fifty yards they are a no brainer. Also what kind of choke are you using or is it a slug dedicated shotgun?

Maybe getting into 3 gun..... Now your talking! Bring Rhino down and shoot a match with us next spring.

Chris C.

For the last 4 years it has always been a "maybe" on the 3 gun thing BUT this year I think we will be attending some 3 gun matches. Rhino has always been supportive of us and has been patiently waiting for the Ball family to expand our shooting into 3 gun. :) I think this may be the year.

Thanks for the suggestion on the ammo. I've already got it in my head to put a hunting gun together. I don't know what that is going to be..but I do know by next Thanksgiving I WILL have a gun that will allow me to kill a deer at 100 yards. ;)

Come on down, Rhino knows the way. We shoot multigun every month that there is a 5th Saturday. Redbrush shoots every 5th Sunday in Newburgh, IN. Not far from you all. You know if you start you're jaws will hurt until you do it again. It's from the big ol smile on your face.

Chris C.

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Jane, try using some Remington reduced recoil police slugs. I think they make them in 20 gauge. I've shot a few deer with them using irons and it just floors them. Never had them take a step. I think the shoot 11.5 inches low at 100 yrds. Fifty yards they are a no brainer. Also what kind of choke are you using or is it a slug dedicated shotgun?

Maybe getting into 3 gun..... Now your talking! Bring Rhino down and shoot a match with us next spring.

Chris C.

For the last 4 years it has always been a "maybe" on the 3 gun thing BUT this year I think we will be attending some 3 gun matches. Rhino has always been supportive of us and has been patiently waiting for the Ball family to expand our shooting into 3 gun. :) I think this may be the year.

Thanks for the suggestion on the ammo. I've already got it in my head to put a hunting gun together. I don't know what that is going to be..but I do know by next Thanksgiving I WILL have a gun that will allow me to kill a deer at 100 yards. ;)

Come on down, Rhino knows the way. We shoot multigun every month that there is a 5th Saturday. Redbrush shoots every 5th Sunday in Newburgh, IN. Not far from you all. You know if you start you're jaws will hurt until you do it again. It's from the big ol smile on your face.

Chris C.

Thanks for the invite Chris. Perhaps we will make it done in 2008. :D

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Close A Door and Open A Window

The Sound of Music is a wonderful movie. One of my favorite lines from the movie is, "When God closes a door, he opens a window." Tonight I'm closing the door to this diary and opening a window for the new diary to come. Tomorrow I begin "Calamity Jane: training to win". You may wonder why I have the need to start a new diary. The simple answer is I need a fresh start.

This diary has been one of the most fulfilling things I've done in my life. That seems like a strong statement but at this moment I mean it. The support you have given me has done a lot to restore my confidence in myself. For that I'm truly grateful. OK now I'm getting tearful. The men I have interacted with in this sport, either in person or on the internet are some of the finest men there is. You'll never know what your friendship has meant to me at this time in my life. There are so many of you that I'm grateful for but there are two of you I need to give special mention to.

XRE...you've been a mentor and a constant support from the beginning. Your positive support and wise words helped coax me out of my shell and into the Benosphere. Thank you.

Hopalong....I've got tears in my eyes because of what you've done for me. You're a man who knows how to hold on to dreams. Next time I see you I'm going to give you the biggest bear hug. You are a gentleman and I'm honored to know you.

Training to win will me more of "me" being "me". More mental mumbo jumbo combined with what I'm actually doing with my shooting. The difference between the two diaries will be goals. I did not set goals last year to have great achievement. The 2008 shooting season will be designed so that I will achieve.

Once again thank you to everyone. Thank you for putting up with ... I know I do this... way to much...and I'm pretty sure it annoys some people. The reason I do this... is...it represents me taking a breath. I write like I'm talking to you in person. I also use this symbol ;) WAY too much. Thanks for putting up with it. You've been patient gentlemen. Thank you.

See you in Training to Win ;):D

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