Humility, hu·mil·i·ty, noun, The quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

Humility is a dish I’d rather not consume. Fact is, I’ve had a rather large dose of it over the last two days. The realization that you’re so extremely inferior at something compared to another person is a bitter pill to swallow. This is my fourth MidwayUSA & NRA Bianchi Cup. While it is true that I don’t dedicate thousands of rounds and months of time in practice, I’m often considered a pretty good shot. At the Bianchi, I am thoroughly humiliated.

At this point, I’ve shot the Practical, the Mover, and the Falling Plates. I have yet to break the 75 percentile in score. For comparison, I shot the Eastern Games less than two weeks ago and averaged around 95 percent, and I was shooting rifles I’d never seen before the morning of the match. This kind of shooting is hard.

I was surprised to see a friend who’s won a national championship in another discipline. I looked up her scores for Thursday and she was barely above me. She’s 25 years younger, has great eyes, and nerves of steel. Maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad. This is a tough game.

Well, maybe it isn’t so tough for the current leaders. Right now, there are five competitors who still haven’t dropped a point and the leader, Doug Koenig, has only fired four shots outside the tiny four-inch x-ring. Imagine shooting a pistol in a timed event, with times as short as three seconds, including draw. Imagine shooting timed shots with your weak hand, and shooting as far out as 50 yards. Imagine shooting at, and hitting, that tiny four-inch x ring six times in six seconds while it’s moving 10 feet per second. There are few people in the world who could come close to this with a rifle, even if the time factor was thrown out.

So, after standing in front of the statistical bulletin that reflects everyone’s score, I didn’t feel quite as bad, but I stand amazed at just how good the leaders are. It’s an amazing example of how well a person who dedicates himself or herself to the task, can shoot. Today, Friday, is the last day of the Cup Championship, with the Colt Speed Challenge running tomorrow. Almost everyone has at least one more hurdle to tackle; today will tell the story. The Bianchi Cup continues.

Current standings:

  • Completed event: Christian Sender, 1874-130x
  • Three stages complete: Doug Koenig, 1440-140x
  • Women: Maggie Reese, 1427-88x
  • Junior: Louis Surgi, 1368-91x
  • Senior: Andy Krantz, 1438-132x
  • First Time: Christian Sender, 1874-130x
  • Service: Kevin Worrel, 1427-79x
  • Grand Senior: Adam Lennert, 1424-26x

Image by Dick Jones

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