My basement is kind of a man cave. Yes, it has a washer and dryer and it’s painted pretty turquoise, but otherwise — total man cave. Across from my instruments of laundry, I keep my instruments of shooting. My workbench has stacks of targets, wrenches, optics, target pasters, and gun cleaning supplies. Underneath the workbench (and actually, at the bottom of the stairs) are veritable mountains of ammo. I also stash a piece of PVC pipe so I can work on my overhead squat form, as well as a couple of kettlebells. Seriously — total man cave, with a few small girly touches.
My basement is essentially my shooting dojo. It’s where I go to practice away from the distractions of people, pets, and the prying eyes of neighbors. I’ve even decorated my walls with some high-class artwork!
But there is one very important fixture in my basement that I haven’t mentioned yet. It’s not a piece of furniture, or lighting, or a decoration. It’s a pair of pants, which I affectionately call my Reloading Pants. My Reloading Pants are a pair of Vertx Ladies Phantom Pants (translation: what I wear at the range) that are permanently adorned with a velcro belt and are accompanied by a pair of sneakers, in Team FNH USA colors of course.
Why, you ask, do I keep a pair of Reloading Pants in the basement at all times? Because I know myself. I hate to practice dry firing, and I’ll come up with any excuse so I don’t have to. Such as:
- Oh man, I sure would love to practice right now, but I’m wearing my stretchy gym pants and they don’t have belt loops and I’d have to go ALL THE WAY upstairs to get a real pair of pants. Or how about…
- My shooting belt doesn’t fit these jeans I’m wearing right now. There’s no sense in practicing my draw if my pistol’s not sitting in quite the right place. Or…
- I can’t practice reloads in my bare feet! I’ll drop a mag on my toe and that will hurt!
Seriously, I can be a total lazy wimp sometimes.
I’m currently reading The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John C. Maxwell. Two of those qualities are Commitment and Initiative. In Chapter 3, Maxwell notes that “commitment starts in the heart” — you’ve gotta WANT it. Next, “commitment is tested by action” — you’ve gotta DO it. (This is where the quality of Initiative comes into play.) And third, “commitment opens the door to achievement” — there will be obstacles in your way, without a doubt, and sometimes commitment will be all you have to carry you forward to that achievement.
So what does that have to do with Reloading Pants?
In shooting, as in life, there will be plenty of obstacles standing in the way of you achieving your goals. Some of those will be external and unavoidable: you get a big assignment at work and are stuck working late every night for 2 weeks; or your kids get the flu and you are on constant puke bucket duty; or your extended family decides to come visit for a week so you have no time to practice.
But some obstacles will be internal, such as laziness, or frustration at a lack of progress, or actively choosing to do something else that you feel is more important at the time. These CAN be avoided — even preempted! — and can be overcome.
I keep my reloading pants in the basement because I know myself too well. So I have done whatever I can to remove any excuses that would stand in the way of me achieving my goals. And then I got my boyfriend to pester me every day to make sure I actually get my practice in. (Sometimes external motivation is required.)
What are you trying to achieve? Go put on your Reloading Pants and make it happen!