Life’s a bitch, then you die…. or so the saying goes. Tough times come to everyone at some point, and nowadays, it seems like times are getting tough for a lot of us, even Skeet Shooters. But we have one thing the rest of the world doesn’t; we have Skeet. Skeet Shooting may be the ultimate in stress reduction, mental relaxation, and personal therapy.
First, the obvious - Ever get just so frustrated and fed up with the insanity of the world that you just wanted to punch a wall or take a baseball bat to your (or someone else’s) car? No matter how satisfying the idea may seem, neither of those actions is going to end well. But take a couple of hours out at your local Skeet Range and you can smash all of the targets you want…trust me, you’ll feel better and you won’t have any repairs to make or damages to pay for. What could be a better reliever of stress and frustration than blowing clay targets up with a shotgun?
But Skeet Shooting is far, far more than just an outlet for venting your frustrations. Skeet Shooting can be magical, even mystical. Skeet Shooting can take you to a place where all of the bad things in your world don’t even exist. To shoot Skeet well requires concentration and focus. By necessity, to break the target, you must block out all external thoughts and distractions. You’ve got to concentrate solely on the target; see nothing but the target; be alone in the universe with the target (that’s the Zen part). Now, the longest shots on the field, the slow incomers at the end stations, only take about two seconds from ‘pull’ to ‘bang’, but for those two seconds, the magic happens. Your mind clears completely; you think of nothing. You hear nothing of the sounds around you, and you see only the target floating gracefully before you. Your body moves without conscious thought, swinging the gun to track your target’s path. At the exact proper moment, without your even being aware of it happening, your finger pulls the trigger and BOOM! You watch over the still flowing barrel as the target instantly disappears leaving a cloud of black smoke in its place. For a brief shining moment elation washes over your entire being, angels sing in perfect harmony, and all is right in your world. It is a fleeting moment to be sure, but even as the feeling fades, a small piece of it remains with you as you walk off the pad and back into the real world. And each time your turn comes up, you get to travel back to that magical place again. And the feeling is cumulative; each time you smash a target, your step is just a little bit lighter. By the end of a good round of Skeet, life’s troubles and tribulations don’t seem quite so insurmountable. Just knowing that magical place exisits is enough to bring a ray of light and hope into a world of darkness.
Skeet has a third therapeutic feature as well, it is simply the atmosphere at the club, the camaraderie and fellowship of spending time with other shooters. Even when you’re not actually on the field shooting, just hanging around the clubhouse, laughing and joking with other club members or swapping laments about how the wind pushed that target down at the very instant you pulled the trigger just lifts the spirit and lightens the burdens of your soul. It’s better than hours on the therapist’s couch.
While Skeet Shooting may not actually solve all of the ills and evils of the world that you’re dealing with, a couple of hours at the gun club can certainly improve your perspective and provide a much needed attitude adjustment. Maybe if more people started shooting Skeet, a whole lot of overpriced therapists would have to sell their couches in order to make rent.