There's this gal in the CFDA, a shooter we call Wench. She hails from Colorado, and they're hosting the US National Championships today. If I know Wench, she's in the scoring tent, toiling over wins and loses, fastest times, and making sure that everything is right.
Wench isn't particularly fast, but she's a cheerleader for the game. I net her at my first sanctioned shoot, the Texas State Championship in 2015. She took Blue Eyed Belle (the girl you folks know as Milady) and taught her the fine points of hand-judging. Wench is like that. She spreads the knowledge and promotes the sport, and makes everyone feel important.
I'm a Wench fan. Unabashedly ad completely. Wench exemplifies the Spirit of the Game.
I was concerned about Blue Eyed Belle's shooting, so at the Southern Territorials this year, I asked Wench about it. "What can I do to help her with her speed?"
Wench looked at me with piercing eyes. "Leave her alone. She's having fun, and she's winning her share of trophies and you don't need to pester her. Just leave her alone."
Wench gives good advise, and I took it. I left my gal alone. She practices when she can, and she's been making good progress on her time. Since the Territorials in April, she's knocked about two-tenths of a second off her time.
We couldn't make the Nationals this year, but we could make the club practice shoot. Belle's big goal for the past year was to get under a second. She's been shooting really consistent in the 1.1-1.2 second range, but she wanted to get under a second. Practice, practice, but that magical 1.0 eluded her. She's been working on it, but she couldn't break into three-digit times. Until today.
We were on the practice line, and Silverside was on the microphone. Belle was on lane 2. During the course of fire, we routinely call out times, and after one shot, Silverside called out "And on Lane 2, I see a 0.979." The whole range went silent, and then applause. Yep, applause.
Blue Eyed Belle broke one second, with witnesses. On her next shot, she backed it up. CFDA shooters will understand that. I'm so proud of her hard work, I'm going to have to get another hat size.
And, if anyone at the Nationals reads this, tell Wench I said thanks, and give her a hug for me. I appreciate her advise.