“Hey, Kyle…you know what would be fun to do over this break?” I asked over Thanksgiving.
“What?” he replied.
“We should go do some target practice!” I said enthusiastically.
After a moment’s hesitation Kyle looked at me and teasingly said, “Who are you and what have you done with my hippie liberal Erika?”
I laughed and retorted, “Target practice has nothing to do with being liberal or not. So there!”
After borrowing a 22 from a friend, we hopped on the snowmachine and headed out of town. Eventually we got to a nice clear spot with some short trees. We took our homemade targets – printer paper with a big cross sharpied on them- and used a staple gun to attach it to a short tree.
Kyle showed me how to load the gun, showed me how to stand, and said, “Alright, go ahead.”
At first, I stood there, used my left eye to aim, and fired off a number of bullets. Then I set the gun down on the snowmachine and walked over to see how many I had hit on the paper.
“NONE!” I shouted across the frozen tundra to Kyle.
As I walked back to Kyle and the gun I wondered how my aim had been so lousy. “Ok, Kyle, can you explain to me again what I should be seeing as I look and shoot.”
He explained again, and I tried to get everything to line up correctly. Frustrated, I grumbled, “I just can’t get anything to line up right!”
“Well, which eye are you using?” Kyle asked.
“My left one,” I replied. “I know it’s my more dominant eye.
“Well, I think you should try with your right one.” He suggested.
Taking his suggestion I fired off a few more and then went to look at the target. Upon reaching the target I jumped up and down and yelled to Kyle, “I did it! I did it!” I had gotten a number of the bullets I fired in the target.
When I returned once again to the gun and snowmachine Kyle pointed out that I was standing awfully funny, leaning back quite a lot. He suggested I try a few from a kneeling position. Once again, I took the suggestion and then shot some more. When I went to look at the target I had gotten one right in the center.
“Bullseye!” I yelled back to Kyle.
It turns out that the gun I was using was just big enough and just heavy enough that I had a hard time holding it perfectly steady while standing up, but could easily keep it stable while kneeling. With this new insight, I shot a bunch more and hit the target with great accuracy. After I went out to inspect the target again I shouted back to Kyle, “This is a lot of fun!”
Once we had used up all the bullets we decided to head home. As we drove back into town I had a huge grin on my face. “It’s really fun to learn something new AND succeed at it” I told Kyle when he asked why I was so happy.