Saturday, August 15, 2015

Kindred Spirits

A Fast Draw guy sent me a message last week, and I'll highlight it here to talk about our game.  It's interesting, the interactions at a match.
Was told at the last match by someone who has been in the Fast Draw game for a long time, that the only thing you can win at a match is respect...that about sums up CFDA.
That's a great observation, but there's something about this game that I haven't quite put my finger on yet.  Like any competitive venue, there are folks who want to win, have that competitive flame, and want to do the very best they can.  Others are there to be with like-minded folks, who enjoy the flavor of the competition and the camaraderie that flows from a group of folks who enjoy the same activities.  We dress like cowboys, strap gun-leather around our waists, and carry single-action revolvers.  

We're there to shoot, no doubt, and we want to do well, but we're also there to talk about boots, and chaps, cowboy hats, spurs and latigo.  Our game attracts a wide range of people, from all walks of life.  Simply mingling with folks who share such a wide range of experience is enlightening.

Respect is a big part of it.  As is humility.  Our game is designed, as is most of the sports, so that there are winners and losers in any match.  But in our game, you can't be a sore loser.  There is a randomness about the game that sometimes exerts itself, to turn the tables in favor of the underdog.  Sure, generally the game favors the folks who practice, who spend time sweating, who work hard for success.  Rightfully so.  A person who draws and fires a thousand times a month should do better than a person who just took up the game.  But, sometimes the stars align and the underdog gets to shine, if only for a minute.  I've seen it time and time again.

For example:

I was in southeast Texas this summer for a club match, a small invitational.  I dunno, maybe fifty shooters.  We draw our opponents randomly, literally from shuffling cards. When your name comes up, you shoot against the person you draw.  It's very random.  In this one particular match, a veteran of the game, a lion of fast-draw, a contender, drew a newbie, a 12-year-old kid with less than three months in the game.  The kid had been practicing, but had never shot a target in under a second, which is an eternity in this game.

In this game, speed counts, but accuracy counts more.  The veteran was bearing down, and the match should have been over quickly.  And it was.  The kid beat him handily.  The sore as 1-3, as I recall.  All that the veteran could do is shake the kids hand, congratulate him, and walk off the line.  This game will keep you humble.

I have to respect a guy like that, and I've found lots of them in this game.  So, maybe respect is what this game is all about.  The trophies are nice, but the respect is everything.

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