Hanging Up the Jersey

There comes a time when enough is enough — when it’s time to let go.  It happens throughout our lives, whether we want it to or not.  Time to let go of those penguin pajama pants you’ve had since college.  Time to let go of someone you love enough to know you don’t love him enough.  Time to let go of a sick pet.  Time to let go of a sport.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing.  But it certainly isn’t easy.

For me, it’s time to hang up the jersey.  After 4 years of being a sponsored 3-gun shooter, and 7 years of competitive shooting overall, it’s time to let go.  Over the years, I missed numerous family birthdays and friend outings, and spent countless nights in hotel rooms across the country all so I could “play” at a game that lost its fun factor somewhere along the way.  What had begun as an adventure and an exciting new challenge somehow morphed into a demanding second job.  Offseasons grew progressively shorter, social media feeds became neverending product advertisements, and I simply couldn’t keep up with the demands of life and meeting my sponsors’ needs.

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I held onto the game longer than I should have, hoping and wishing that it could be fun again.  But the 2015 season made it abundantly clear to me that it was time for a change, as I repeatedly struggled to find the motivation to attend just one more event.  So that’s why I won’t be competing in 2016, at least not with any regularity or with any manufacturer’s logo painted on my back.

I’m not saying I’ll never shoot again, or that I won’t ever seek out sponsorship in the future.  But for now, I just need a clean break.  If I shoot at all in 2016, it’s going to be for the fun of it.  With friends, fun, and food.  No stress, no drama, and no pressure.

I plan to spend my free time in 2016 doing things that rejuvenate my spirit:  spending time with friends and family, becoming more involved in my church, working out, and giving back to my community.

I’ll see you all on the range…sometime…  In the meantime, stay safe out there, shooting friends.  And for goodness sake, HAVE FUN!


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