Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hurt so good.

So, yeah, I was the last-place shooter in the class. Going by my best run on the FAST drill, I shot "Basic", missing an "Intermediate" score by one one-hundredth of a second. But more importantly, I know why.

Further, I am going to go so far as to say this: I learned more about using a pistol to put fast, accurate hits on target in those 16 hours and ~900 rounds of .45ACP than I have in any other previous formal firearms training setting. (But without that previous training, this class would have been worse than useless to me.) Todd's skills at pedagogy are 1337.

My hands are sore and raw in places. I have a blister on my shooting hand in a place I've never had a blister on my shooting hand. I came in last place out of eight shooters, with a best run of a mediocre 10.00 seconds, clean.

But you know what? Despite being sunburned, tired, aching sore, and otherwise generally beat to hell, my last run at the FAST to close out the class was far and away the best I did all weekend, and I know how I can do even better, and why. And that means I learned something, and that is why I go to school.

20 comments:

Brigid said...

But you WENT. YOu didn't stay home with your little pistol and dream about or write about. You WENT. And you learned, and you watched and you had fun.

THAT is what it is all about.

Laughingdog said...

So do you ever finish one of these classes without ending up with sunburn?

og said...

Indeed. You don't get any better thinking about doing, you only get better doing. They don't train infantry in classrooms alone, and nobody became an IDPA champion listening to audiotapes.

Tango Juliet said...

What is it the Marines say? Pain is weakness leaving the body?

For us squid types, pain is losing the AC in the South China Sea.

Matt G said...

I like what I'm seeing, here. Bring on the heat, lady.

Tango Juliet said...

I'm going to put this training on my list.

I'd like to inject a bit of speed into my shooting.

rickn8or said...

And the last-place finisher is far and away better than she was Friday, and way bunches faster than us mere mortals.

Tango Juliet-- Tell 'em what happens when the ice cream machine goes hard down.

Anonymous said...

When i was a Navy boot on my first ship, I was griping to a Chief about all of the drills. He told me, "Amateurs train until they can do it right. Professionals train until they can't do it wrong. And every sailor on this ship is--or will be--a professional."

Lady, I think you would make the grade.

cap'n chumbucket

apocryph said...

If it makes you feel any better, when I did AFHF earlier this month, I was third from last in the class.

I shot a super-awesome-ninja-killer time of 6.something on the FAST drill; problem was I dropped both head shots, earning myself a lovely parting gift of 4 seconds' penalty and a 10.something time, worse than yours.

If pain is weakness leaving the body, I wonder what is humiliation?

Still, sounds like you came away knowing exactly what you need to do to suck less. I got the same from ToddG, and it was well worth the price of admission.

Old NFO said...

"And that means I learned something, and that is why I go to school."

It means even more that you actually WENT and WORKED! Thanks for the report Tam, and I'm hoping I'll actually be able to attend his class sometime soon.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Tactical Carbine, FAST Pistol, what's next on the Agenda (after soaking your hands in a bucket of ice for a couple of days, of course)? Not being Snarky, just curious. With Winter on the way, a Shotgun class, perhaps? Figure you might get some Bambi slaying in, also.

pdb said...

Fantastic, T, I'm looking forward to more details!

I always love seeing people refuse to settle for mediocrity.

Tango Juliet said...

Re-visiting this in hopes that you will offer a glimpse into some of the secrets of learning to shoot faster.

Anonymous said...

Great review. Thanks.

CA

ToddG said...

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of View From The Porch that Tam is by far her own harshest critic. To call someone who puts forth 100% effort for two long days with a heavy thumping 1911, who pays attention, who maintains flawless responsible safe gun handling, and who IMPROVES dramatically "short bus" is, in the language of our ancestors, ucking-fay uts-nay.

Should one find himself suddenly overcome with the urge to accost a blonde bicyclist, one would do well to avoid the general area of Broad Ripple, that's for certain.

It was great to meet you in person finally, Tam, and I look forward to seeing you on the range again. Thanks for the very kind words on the class. Train hard & stay safe...

Munitions & Miscellania said...

What 1911 did you use, Tamara?

I'm dying to know.

Todd really is a gifted firearms instructor who has put together a great course.

After reading him for years online I was not the least bit disappointed.

Tam said...

"What 1911 did you use, Tamara?"

Watch this space. :)

Matt G said...

Oooh. I know.

Anonymous said...

I think I shot the drill in what, 16 & change or something like that...

I WILL take this class next time Todd comes to Indy.

From what I was able to see of the class, Todd is an excellent instructor.

Kudos to Tam for sticking with the 1911 as well!

Steve

atlharp said...

Effin' Awesome! Seriously the best place to be is last place, that where you know you are guaranteed to improve. ;-) I had one of those epiphanies as well reading Todd's blog and working his drills. A good instructor is one that is not afraid to put the right amount of constructive stress on students. From his blog he always seems to be about pushing your skills and not being afraid to make mistakes (i.e. misses). It's nice to see someone who is willing to bridge that gap from shooting with moderate skill, to being able to take it to the next level. Hopefully Tam this gets you out to shoot some IDPA in the near future. :-)