3 years ago

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine made a comment that has stuck with me, if it wasn’t for my brain surgery 5/31/2012, I would not have ventured into 3 Gun and met all of these awesome individuals I now call friends.

It is easy to dwell on the negative in life, it is harder, to look to the positive, when life throws you a curve ball. You can try an dodge it, ignore, it but it will always be there. The positives, well you have to look for them! Once you acknowledge them, you find them around every corner. I am choosing to focus on the positive!

The people in our sport do not dwell on what has happened, but rejoices in their accomplishments. They have over come, adapted and moved on with their life. I am not saying this new life is easy by no means, but it has defined a new me. Someone who can take a bad day and make the best out of it. Don’t ever listen to the little voice telling you “you can’t do that”, use that as your motivation to DO!

Photo Credit: Snippets of Life Photography.

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Buffering…

Well, where do I begin?

The hubs and I just returned from a month long journey across this wonderful nation of ours.

I started shooting the 3 gun nation regional series. The last match was in Kentucky, we live in California. I still have not flown since surgery, so I was concerned and did not want to fly to the matches in Kentucky.

I looked at the map, told the hubby “let’s drive”. Ok so that might have been a little ambitious on my part. Kentucky looks a lot closer on a map to California then it actually is.

There was actually 2 matches 7 days a part firm each other at the same facility, so of course I wanted to shoot both matches. Meet people and have fun.

Ok so the “meet people” was a challenge for me. Along with the heat and humidity which made the brain to trigger finger issues. As well as being out of shape. The six weeks before we left for Kentucky I was flat on my back. My back had decided to go out on me. Ugh…

Back to buffering:

In Las Vegas back in May I had my team mates with me. I had people I knew who helped me along the way. This time I was going to 2 matches 8 states away and no friends with me from the industry. I was on my own. Had to remember how to sight my rifle (humidity will do weird things to your ballistics), introduce myself to others and have a great time. Aside for me looking like a complete fool not being able to hit my long range targets, I had a total blast. The issue I really ran into was at the ceremony after the first match.

There was about 300 people at the ceremony, the hubs wasn’t feeling well so I went by myself. Navigating the crowds, talking to vendors, then came the idle chitchat waiting for the awards. I would introduce myself then words would come out pressured, backwards and wrong words were being replaced with what I wanted to say. Ugh… I ended up going back to the hotel early. I received a text from one of the event people who wanted to interview me for the web show they were producing. Needless to say I was frustrated and relieved at the same time when I had to decline because I was at the hotel.

I posted up my frustration on FB and a shooter said I need a sign that just says buffering on it. Lol

I had my second match 7 days later at the ProAm match. Still had brain 2 trigger issues but felt a lot more relaxed at this match. Met some wonderful people, made a few contacts and actually feel like I just might belong.

Now to have a shirt made for next months 2 matches that say buffering on it… That way when I have a speech pause or say something very idiotic I can just point to the shirt .

P.s. Sorry if this is scattered and confused, since returning from our trip (we stayed in Lake Tahoe for a week) I have had massive headaches and a little bit confused these past few days. I think the high altitude did me in. I am calling the doctor on Monday to verify if I should be concerned.

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2 Years

Wow, just looked at the calendar and realized this was a big day!

I made it 2 years since they cracked open my perfectly Good coconut. (with the exception of that CSF leak that was put there by a previous surgery).

So the plates And screws are still there. I find that I don’t really notice them too much anymore unless I am scrubbing my face and my hand goes off the wash cloth. Then I will actually stop what I am doing and feel them as a reminder of where I have been.

Still blind in the right eye. Went for an eye exams and found out 2 things I have steroid induced cataracts, and there is a new area of dark in my good eye that should not be there. My eye doc has ordered an MRI and a CT scan as well as some blood tests so there is that to look forward too NOT!

My speech and public interactions are better now. Only small brain farts if I am really excited. My competitive shooting has really helped in that area.

I still have a procrastination issue when I comes to paper work and having anything more then one thing on my schedule per day. I tend to avoid things I would have never avoided before.

Daily chores are daunting to me. Too much to do so I put it one the back burner until the hubs takes over on the chores. I really think it is because of the detail I am missing due to my vision. When I say I have scrubbed and cleans to be spic an span my hubby just laughs when he sees my effort and the debris that i did not see. Oh well there is always room for improvement.

I never said I was perfect.

Other then that the csf headaches are not as intense and yes I still taste csf. I really wish that would just go away.

Well there is my whine for the year. On to improving myself, kicking butt and taking names. Have a great summer everyone.

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3 Gun Nation Western Regionals

Well we are coming up on my 2 year anniversary of Brain surgery, blinding of my right eye and related issues with brain surgery I had. May 31st will be 2 years. Sometimes that seems like yesterday and other time like for ever.

Either way I have been getting off the couch and making use of my new self. To help me get over the speech pauses, and feeling sorry for myself i set a goal for myself last October.

i wanted to relearn how to shoot left handed and enter competitive shooting. I had my first Major match this past weekend May 16/17 in Henderson Nv. It was close enough that my family actually came out to the range and saw what it is I am actually doing. Well that and I am sure the draw of the casinos not too far from the range lol.

What I expect to get out of competitive shooting sports?
Concentration,
elimination of speech pauses,
situational awareness, learning how to navigate without stumbling and bumping into everything and everyone.
Organization,
Speed.

The day before I left for my Match I went to Dr E my Neuro Ophth and found out why my good eye was having vision issues.i was Dx with Steroid induced Cataracts. Ok so this threw me for a loop but I had bigger fish to fry. I had to drive to Las Vegas by myself, I had a major match to breakdown and figure out and run. I did not have time for this new distraction.

Below is a rundown of the weekends festivities. For those that want to know I took 149th over all of about 200 shooters, 125th in my class and 10th lady. So I feel pretty good about my first match. Looking forward to August when I get to do it all over again in KY.

So last weekend was the 3-Gun Nation Western Regionals, sponsered by Remmington and Cheaper than dirt.

Friday: Shooters meeting at 3:00 and then you walk the stages. I was so amped up that I got to the range early so I could take it all in and sight in my rifle. It was about 106 degrees (as the saing goes “it was a dry heat) that sucked the moisture and life right out of you.

My teammates decided to rent some guns we don’t normally get to shoot in our state, so we could go play while we were waiting for 3pm shooters meeting. Nothing like an full auto to get your blood pumping.

By the time we registered,had the shooters meeting and started walking the stages at 4;30-5:00 I was spent. The heat and the excitement had taken their toll. I took video of stages 1-6 on our way to stage 7 I started to feel the heat exhaustion settle in, ut oh I am in trouble and had about 1/4 mile to my car and water. I handed off my video camera to a teammate and asked that they film the stages for me so I could make it down to my car ASAP. My feet were starting to go numb and dizziness stared to show its ugly head.

We shot 4 stages Saturday and 4 stages Sunday. The temps at the range Saturday were 108 little to no breeze. Our squad 13 had a start time of 12:30 on stages 5-8.

Saturday:
While the range stages were considered close. In the heat, carring 30 pounds of gear and what felt like 50 lbs of ammo, made the heat that much more unbearable. We tried to get a golf cart however the earlier squads had not returned them yet. So I found a competitor heading up the range with a coveted golf cart for my gear to get a free ride and I would walk up.

While walking up the hill to stage 5, a smiling Jerry Miculek (fastest trigger in the world) was driving up the hill in his car. I step a few steps over to my right to let him pass. He stops leans over and opens the passenger door for me and said “looks like you could use a ride”. I climb in and feel the rush of AC. He deposits me off about 75 yards up the road. He wishes me luck and takes off to his stage.To say that I had a blast IS an understatement. In the shooting word of 3gun there were shooting celebrities in every direction. All wearing their colors proudly. I get to my stage,meet up with my team members and squad mates for the weekends festivities.

Stages 5 through 8 were true 3 gun stages. We had close range shotgun, mid range pistol and long range rifle. Shooting plate racks at <100 yards and then rifle stages out to 350 yards. We even had stage 8 where you started inside a taxi and had to shoot your pistol while seated in the drivers seat, then climb out and race to your shotgun and hit 3 targets with slugs from 20-50 yards. Then race to your rifle and shoot with a 10-15 mph wind out to 350 yards 6 MGM swingers.

Stage 6 was a 3GN classifier stage with mandatory mag changes on the rifle.

We finished up Saturday, hot filthy and tired. Headed to the ranges bar, had a few cool ones and headed to the hotel. My teammates and I went to dinner and bed by 9. Sundays 6 am at the range time was going to be an early call.

Sunday Morning:
Trying to carry your gear from the hotel room,through the casino and to the car at 5 am and not wake up the whole floor can be a challenge but doable. After loading the car and grabbing a bite to eat at a local drive through I waited at the range gate for about 20 minutes along with all of the other shooters. We were early and the staff from the range were on time.

Even with the slight cloud cover and the cool of the desert morning. the weather was still calling for the temps to be in the high 90s low 100s.

I was 2nd in line for the golf cart today. Sweet! I headed over to the teammates car and we loaded all of our gear on to the cart and off to shoot stages 1-4. While yesterdays stages were larger bays and long range targets for rifle stages 1-4 had their own set of challenges. Stage 2 was an All shotgun stage starting with 8 slugs and the remainder in birdshot for. Total of 36 targets. Everyone was borrowing someone elses gear just to be able to carry enough ammo for the stage.you learn to adapt quickly on this stage. I borrowed a chest vest from Chris Naganuma threw on additional shells to compliment my 16 in twin loads on my belt.

Stages 1 and 3 had true 3 gun set up. You had to have all three guns staged and loaded but if you choose to shoot a stage with only one two or all three guns were up to you.

And stage 4 our last stage of the match was a true 2 gun run and gun rifle and pistol. Run it as fast as you can and get there with no penalties.

After shooting my last stage we headed to the watering hole for some cool drinks and some good laughs hearing the morning squads highs and lows. Most of the competitors were staying the day so that they could watch other competitors and friends shoot. The winds were starting to kick up and stage 5 and 8 were the ones to watch. With 30 mph winds you were seeing the big guys fall in standing left and right. The whole match was on practi score so everyone was attached to their phones checking out the current leaders. It was a true horse race.

Knowing I had about 4-5 hours to burn I headed to the hotel, took a shower and nursed the heat blisters on my feet. Washed my team jersey in the sink. Put on that jersey wet knowing that by the time i got to my car it would be dry then drove back down to the range. A teammate had rented another golf cart and we proceeded to stages 1-4 and watched some of the competitors like Jerry, Leina, John Taran, Heather and the alike complete their match.

The awards ceremony was unbelievable. We all gathered in a large warehouse that had a few chairs and about 25 tables loaded with prizes. After the main awards were given to 1st thru 3rd place finishers they started calling out the TacOps place finishers. So if you finished 1st in your class you were first to head to the prize tables to pick your prize. Remmington, DMPS and the alike had donated over 25 guns for the prizes tables as well as other sponsors there was a total n the prize tables worth over $300,000.00 . After guns there was anything from thousand dollar gift certificates, AR uppers, Barrles, parts, triggers eyewear taccom gear etc…

I placed 149th over all, 125th in tac-ops and 10th lady. I ended with a prize package worth over $500. Eye pro, Magpul pro BUIS, and gift certificates. To say I was shocked at my prizes was an understatement.

All in all this was a great experience for a first major match. As the new kid in town I felt out of place (it was only because I allowed it) when my teammates were not with me. This is such a close knit group of shooters. However there was not one time I actually felt I I did not belong. I met lots of new friends that I will be seeing in the near future in KY in August. They all said I have to worry about the heat and the bugs. So there is that to look forward to as well.

I also learned to not change out your pistol sights a week before a major competition. Part of that organizational stuff I am working on.

Have a great Memorial Weekend and please say a prayer for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Jules

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NRA Range Safety Officer certification

NRA Range Safety Officer (RSO) course:

I decided to finally get certified for RSO after going to a few competitions and helping with running stages during the competitions.

Basically a range safety officer makes sure everyone on the range is being safe. Handling their firearms in a safe manner and helping out others to make their experience at the range is as safe a possible, as well as helping when their firearms are not acting properly. Squib loads, loading and unloading firearms in a safe manner while not endangering themselves or others at the range. This also means that I can be a safety officer at ranges anywhere in the United States. This will help in my shooting competitions because I can assist during matches when I am not shooting. It is a win win for anyone at the range.

Today I took my first test since brain surgery. Walking into this class I had my concerns with being able to read written pages. I can read just fine but sometime it takes me a few times reading the paragraph before it sinks in. Frustrating since I love reading. I have a better chance when reading on the iPad because I can enlarge the text and the words don’t seem to dance across the page as much. Meaning I can focus better on what I am reading. Instead of chasing words around the page.

There were are few times I had to read something out loud, when my brain would freeze. Since the course had a power point presentation and verbal discussion, I was able to retain everything very well. It is just reading that small type.

When it came time for the test I was well prepared to answer all of the questions.

Now I am one step closer to shooting competitions, as well as also getting my instructors lic so I can assist new shooters get aquatinted with the shooting sports.

My brain hurts now (just an expression) have a great night everyone.

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Prayers needed

For the past few months (November 2013) my father has been having some test and yesterday we got the news he has stage 1 cancer. We are going to be busy with scheduling Dr. Appointments and surgery, just asking for healing prayers and steady surgeons hands.

Back story: My Fathers primary care doctor was retiring from practice. He hired a new younger doctor to replace him. Thank God, this new doctor likes taking new blood work when he sees his new patients. He ran your typical draw and they came back a little funky. He looked at my dads history and ordered a CT scan. The scan came back showing a growth. We went to a specialist to have home take a look at the scan and he wanted to do another scan with contrast. There lies the issue dad can’t have contrast. Wile this specialist was trying to figure out what to do, I emailed Dr B and said “if you or your family member were ex with possible cancer who would you go to?” He replied a few days later saying that he called around and Dr K would be the only guy he would see. I called Dr K’s office and we were seen with in 2 days.

Dr K is an oncologist. While we did not know if we actually were looking at cancer, we wanted to know one way or the other. We found out oncology is not just for cancer peeps, but one that might think they have cancer as well. We made it through the holidays and had another CT scan to see if there was any growth. The next day we had a biopsy scheduled. A week later (yesterday) we were giving the news yes it is cancer, yes it needs to come out sooner then later. Within 6 weeks.

I had an appointment with Dr U my brain surgeon last week and mentioned that we have a scare going on and that Dr B hooked us up with Dr K. My brain surgeon Dr U said if it was cancer and he needed surgery he would only have Dr S do the surgery. So this morning we have scheduled one appointment with the Dr the oncologist wanted us to see and I called Dr U to see if he could contact Dr. S and see if we can get an appointmentASAP.

We are currently in a holding pattern. Dr Z that the oncologist wanted us to see ASAP can’t see us until 1/31/14. And we are waiting on Dr S to see if he can get us in.

I guess the moral of this story is, new doctors can seem like a pain but sometimes their different approach just might save your life. This cancer we are looking at can be aggressive if not found early. Also there are never any signs you will feel or see until it has grown and caused more damage. So all in all we are lucky he was nosy and wanted to screen his new patient.

I ask that everyone that reads theirs in the next few weeks please say a little prayer for my dad “Bud” god will hear our prayers. Thanks everyone.

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Happy New Year 2014

Well 1 year and seven months. My how time has flown.

You probably do not know when I had my surgery I shaved my head. Made my life easier, then to have to deal with my hair during recovery. Well my hair has grown to the point I can finally put it in a pony tail.

For the ladies out there something you might want to remember this. Tonight was the first time I could pull all of my hair up into a pony tail, I learned that the surgical scar can act up on you 1 year and 7 months later.

I had my hair up for about 4 hours, by the time we got home I was having the worst headache and skull pain I could not figure why all of a sudden my head ached so bad. I took my hair out of the ponytail and could barely touch my scar area. The pain was so bad I could not even wash my hair without crying out in pain. I have no idea why this happened. All I do know is that even after 2 hours I can not touch my scar.

I might have to reconsider having long hair and cut it off into a shorter hairstyle if this keeps up. I have grown my hair out just so I could have ponytails and up-do’s

Well anyway I wanted to point this fact out Incase you run across this in the future.

Anyways hope your 2014 is better than your 2013. As for me I am training for competitive shooting I ha e signed up for 3 of the regional matches with the 3gun nation, that tv show that show cases competitive rifle, pistol and shotgun. Wish me luck I am going to need it.

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