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How Do You Know When It’s Time


Yul Lose
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J-Bars thread about Your Last Good Day kind of struck home on a personal level. At one time I thought myself competitive and I was the overall winner at a match once but that was 12 years ago. I had covid in July of last year and since then my stamina and memory capacity has not returned.  I know the possees that I shoot on help me as much as they can and put up with my slower times but at what point does one become a burden and their condition become an aggravation and annoyance to the other shooters? We’ve had a few shooters that we’ve had to help support physically as they shot a stage and it was heartwarming to see the other posse members step up to physically and emotionally support these competitors.

 

I can still handle my firearms safely and load and unload my gun cart from my truck without any help but someone usually offers to help with that. I man the un load table usually and can help with light steel chores like loosening and tightening nuts and bolts and target painting, etc… but I feel guilty not being able to handle the heavier stuff. The friendships that I’ve made are countless and for the last 15 years or so my CAS family are my only friends. 
 

So how do you know when to hang up the spurs and walk away from the game?

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Plain and simple; “when you aren’t having fun anymore”. For me, this decision came years ago. I won’t get into the actual decision for me, but I’ve been quietly enjoying shooting old iron ever since. I still cruise the pages here for information but the thought of shooting a match hasn’t been on my mind in ages and hasn’t troubled me one bit. You could always consider acting as an RO or just assist your local posse if the social aspect is what rows your boat. My $0.02. 

Edited by Wallaby Damned
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Just now, Flanigan Flats said:

I agree stop when it isn’t fun. 

Might still be fun for me but not those on my posse.

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Over the years I have seen shooters slow down for what ever reasons.

I have not seen other shooters take on the helping of these shooters and consider it a burden.

Mostly what I have seen are others very glad to see their friends who are slowing down show up and continue as best they can and part of the goings on.

 

We have to remember that winning is only bragging rights until the next match.

Being with friends is so much more.

 

And when it is time to stop?

It has been said, "When it stops being fun."

 

One more thing.

There is no reason at all to feel guilty if the time comes to ask for help.

I am sure you have helped others in the past.

Was that a burdened to you? . . . . No answer required.

 

 

 

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Yes, there are those who get frustrated with the 'slow shooter'.. or any other reason THEY think makes you less than they think you should be.

 

To those I say :

I pay the same fees

load my ammo

clean my guns

dress my costume choice...

I am safe

 

If you don't like it...don't posse with me.

 

Yul, we love ya.

Anyone who is still enjoying the game and can do so safely...GO FOR IT!!!

 

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Yul, it's part of the cowboy code to help others when needed.  As was said its doubtful that any of the other shooters would consider that helping someone was a burden to them or the posse. If you still enjoy shooting, then stay active and help out with posse duties however you can.  The folks you've been shooting with will be glad you're still participating.  

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40 minutes ago, Yul Lose said:

Might still be fun for me but not those on my posse.

Yul… I’m 51 years old, both of my grandfathers passed when I was 11. I find it enjoyable to shoot with the older guys on my posse. Hearing their stories, watching them enjoy a laugh or shoot a stage clean, all good things in my book. Sometimes we all need to slow down a little and enjoy life, it’s not always about being the first posse done for the day. So if an older shooter needs a hand loading his cart up, carrying a long gun or packing up at the end of the day so be it… 

 

I say shoot until it’s no longer fun for you, I guarantee that there is someone on your posse that enjoys your company even if they don’t show it! Keep your barrels clear, your powder dry and send that lead down range!!

Edited by Seth Bradford
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54 minutes ago, Yul Lose said:

Might still be fun for me but not those on my posse.

I'd posse with you anytime, Sir. (and I'm pretty sure you outshoot me, too.)

Just don't ask me to pet your buffalo. :lol:

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A couple of years ago at Winter Range our posse had an old fellow who needed help making it through a stage and another shooter who was recovering from an accident who also needed help.  Not a single comment, everyone was happy to help.  The Posse Marshall set the tone and we just did what was required.

 

A little bit of leadership goes a long way in situations like this.

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As long as the lead doesn’t go over the berm, your s—t stays in the can, you can see where your going and having fun, keep on keeping’ on!  :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

You might be surprised to find out that the folks on your posse would rather you be there regardless of your performance or helpfulness. 

 

Phantom

Exactly. I knew a guy in Indiana that might take 100-300 seconds per stage because of a physical issue. I didn't care because I wanted him there so I could see his smiling face. The match was not the same to me when he wasn't there.

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Only if you've become mentally incapacitated through the aging process and are literally dangerous to others handling firearms, as a Club Secretary I have had to give some of our older gents a tap on the shoulder and have that talk with them, its terribly terribly hard and a very difficult thing to do.

 

Physically incapacitated??? NO WAY.....keep going on. Old and slow doesn't mean (and shouldn't mean) culled from the herd.

 

What does that say for people with disabilities, wheelchair bound, amputees etc etc .....CAS isn't for you? That's terrible.

 

Edited by Buckshot Bear
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Yul, leave the game on YOUR terms - no one elses.

 

I had a dear friend in this game, Know Justice, that went thru two battles with brain cancer.

 

He weakened from the disease and the treatments where his gait was unsteady and he required keeping two hands on them to safely steady his firearms.

 

I made a point of always being his TO and I would (in my younger, stronger days) wrap my fist up in his suspenders with the timer clipped to my belt and hold him up as he moved from position to position.

 

As he could not let go of his shotgun to load it - I would load his shotgun from my belt with my free hand that was not holding him up.

 

The absolute closest I have ever gotten to a physical "interpersonal" conflict at a match was one shooter that rudely suggested Know Justice give up the game because he was holding things up. 

I very "politely" informed this shooter that as long as Know Justice could safely hold his firearms - that I would carry him on my back if that was what required for him to continue.  And if this shooter had an issue with it - I would be happy to discuss it further.

 

I loved Know Justice and never once begrudged him any extra time that he added to our matches.  Know Justice left us a number of years ago and I would give nearly anything to spend one more afternoon with my hand wrapped in his suspenders and feeding shells into his shotgun.

 

I guarantee there are plenty of folks that love you as well.  Life is too short - No one worth worrying about is concerned about an extra 5 minutes in a match to keep you around.

 

And if they are - maybe they need to stay home - not you.

 

 

 

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As you know Yul we met a few years back..what you did & helped us with will never be forgotten..I knew straight away that you  are a kind & generous man..I'm pretty sure that would be the same impression you have left on many others..keep shooting while your enjoying it & your 'true' friends will always be glad to help & not the slightest bit bothered by doing so...........if anyone is bothered I say 'stuff 'em  !!

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Phantom nailed it this time.  He's 1,000% correct.  Keeping our older friends around us and playing the game is a huge part of everybody's enjoyment.   So stay in the game and let us continue enjoying it with you.  The fact that you're asking and concerned tells us it isn't your time.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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We all have said it or heard it:

You come for the shooting but stay for the people.

 

In my mind it's always been a reason for a new shooter. They have great time shooting but they come back bc of the people they have met.

 

Now, the phrase is evolving to include people that are long-time shooters. Just come come back for the people. Your friends don't care if you shoot a 15 second stage or a 3 minute stage.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

 

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In the 20+ years that we have been enjoying this game we have made friends with countless shooters that are no longer competing for a variety of reason.  Young or old, we miss so many of them.  We've watched shooters get faster.  We've watched shooters slow down.  Sadly, we've seen a few that began to grow unsafe.  However, rather than watch them walk away, posse members often helped them out by carrying their guns to and from the firing line, pushing gun carts, fetching water, and assisting however they could.  No one ever looked upon helping as "not fun".  Isn't it part of the "Cowboy Way" to help out, be respectful, and so much more? 
Being in the northeast, we have a winter hiatus.  Although it's a happy time to gather together again each spring, it's also sad that some don't return for whatever the reason.  It's doubly sad when we didn't get a chance to say good-bye.  
Make no mistake.  You will be missed when you decide it's your time.  We have a few dear friends that are saying that to us right now.  It's been fun to have met them, shot with them, sat around the bonfire with them, learned from them, and YES, even helped them.  It's never been fun to see them go.
 

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Yul, IF you are hav'n fun and your safe. Keep shooting:excl:

BTW, they have always used a Sundial to time me. :rolleyes:

Because of the shoulder issues I now have. I had to give up Duslist, and now use 2 hands on the revolvers. 

Thank God for Tylenol ^_^

OLG 

 

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As long as you are still able to be safe and still enjoy what you are doing you ought to keep on going. There is always a place at the fire for folks that want to be there. Nobody can go on forever without losing some amount of ability. The folks that really understand this game and what it is about know that and will gladfully do anything within reason to accommodate our family members. It is not a burden to help our friends, it is a privilege.

 

Snakebite

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  Yul, I don't think you're seeing the forest because all of the trees are getting in the way. There's more to a match than setting steel, picking brass, and timing somebody. There are other people that can handle that stuff. There's also stuff that maybe those people can't handle. Be it a word of shooting advice, encouragement or my case sympathy at the unloading table, or just plain life advice that someone needs. You've been there and done what lots are going through. We need that. As long as you're comfortable with your firearms, keep shooting. And you know what? If it gets to the point you're not comfortable with your firearms, that unloading table still needs someone on it!

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11 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

Might still be fun for me but not those on my posse.

 

You're so so wrong about that. 

 

I shoot with a shooter that shoots 100 plus second stages all the time. Because of health issues they had to give up long guns. So they just shoots their pistols. We added a Lone Ranger category to accommodate.  Their eyesight makes certain target colors hard to see so we paint them in colors they can see. 

He doesn't drive long distances any more so when his wife cannot drive him to a match that is 2 hours away I gladly met him and he rides with my and my better half to and from the match.

 

None of us care that the only posse chore they can still do is the unloading table. For years they helped setup and tear down targets, built stages, and supported the club monetarily. They have paid their dues several times over. Just a few years ago they helped me build 60 feet of board walk.

 

Because their health has recently taken a turn for the worse their time among us is limited So we'll do everything we can to ensure the time they have left is the best it can be. 

 

Woe be to the person that makes fun of or criticizes him/her. The rest of us would tar and feather them before running them off the range on a rail.

 

I consider it an honor to assist a shooter that needs a little help because they are no longer able. The smile on their face and the joy in their heart of being out on the range with their friends is a priceless reward for such a small effort on my part.

 

I hope and pray that when I reach that time someone will be there for me.

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28 minutes ago, Injun Ryder, SASS #36201L said:

 

When you run out of and can no longer obtain ammo!!!!!!!

That won't happen as long as your friends know it.  We might all run out together, but I believe all of us  will share what we have 'till it's used up and gone.  Then we can still camp out together, sit around together, and talk about the good old days when we used to do all that work and spend all that money just to drive all over the country and hear our pretty guns go bang.   

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Thank you Yul.  Your post has made all of us slow down and think for a moment about what's really important.   We all say it often, but you've made it sink in deeper.  It's the PEOPLE that drag us out of bed in the wee hours and bring us back to the range--over and over and over again. 

 

There will be a time when each of us will be wondering if it is our time to hang up our leather.  When my time comes, it will only be the guns that stay at home.   They're only a part of why I am here.  

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Like many of you, my fellow shooters have become like family.  The wife and I are closer to many of cowboy shooting friends than we are to friends we have from other associations.  I can't imagine giving up those relationships.  There are certain shoots I can't attend anymore until I get my knees replaced and I feel guilty that I can't do some of the target set-ups and tear downs until my surgeries are over.  I try to stay useful keeping score on the tablet or spotting, but I still feel guilty.

 

Others have stated it well, as long as you are still a safe shooter and are having fun, don't quit.  Your gun carts are works of art and your insight into shooting Lightning style rifles have helped many of us.  God willing, you return to full health and continue to enjoy this great game.  Hang in there!

 

 

Edited by TN Mongo, SASS #61450
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12 hours ago, Cliff Hanger #3720LR said:

Over the years I have seen shooters slow down for what ever reasons.

I have not seen other shooters take on the helping of these shooters and consider it a burden.

Mostly what I have seen are others very glad to see their friends who are slowing down show up and continue as best they can and part of the goings on.

 

We have to remember that winning is only bragging rights until the next match.

Being with friends is so much more.

 

And when it is time to stop?

It has been said, "When it stops being fun."

 

One more thing.

There is no reason at all to feel guilty if the time comes to ask for help.

I am sure you have helped others in the past.

Was that a burdened to you? . . . . No answer required.

 

 

 

+1000

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12 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

Might still be fun for me but not those on my posse.

It's a game and we're supposed to be enjoying ourselves.  If members of the posse aren't having fun, then they need to look inside themselves to see why they are there.

My brother, Hugo Bear,  is recovering from open heart surgery, rare blood infection, and removal of a 6 pound tumor.  He still shoots C&B and if he's feeling froggy he shoots his Spencer (7 shot).  And he's smiling. 

Bottom line: if you enjoy the game  don't let others influence your decision.

 

That's my 5 cents,

BS

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