Who I Am...

I am you. I am the kid who shot folded paper with rubber bands at my friends and sometimes hit the teacher. I am the kid who wanted to win every competition, always played sports, and never accepted participation trophies. 

I grew up believing anything worth being good at took hard work. Growing up it was baseball, then it became lacrosse. Lacrosse was my competitive outlet until I graduated from college. It was where I scratched and clawed to be better, to be a better winner, and to be a better loser.  Once I graduated I went into the real world, with a 9-5 which always seems to turn into a 7-6, with bills to pay, with things that have to get done, and with responsibilities that I could never imagine as a child. For me, once I left college, I lost that competitive outlet. I channeled into my career and focused on being the best I possibly could in my field. Like most of us, that profession takes us of our feet and behind a desk. It just wasn't enough competition for me.

That was me, until two months ago. Then I found competitive shooting. 

Growing up I was never around firearms. My parents never owned them  and with the exception of when I was with friends whose parents were in law enforcement, I never saw them in person. It wasn't until my second year of college and a happenstance pairing in a college apartment that I was expecting more regularly to firearms. Thanks to my roommate (and to this day one of my best friends), Justin, I began to learn about firearms. We would shoot his .22LR rifle at the range, occasionally shoot clays with his shotgun, and every once in a while take his 1911 pistol to the range.

When I graduated college I moved around for work for several years all in cities who are by all intents anti-gun. It wasn't until I moved back to my home state of Texas in 2012 that I purchased my very first firearm, a Springfield XD 9mm subcompact, for home and self defense. It would be the more years until I purchased my second pistol, only after I was married and my wife expressed interest in obtaining her license to carry...and actually wanted to conceal carry a pistol.

So how did I decide I was interested in competitive shooting? 

Up too early every day I would occasionally catch an episode of 3-Gun Nation on whatever channel it popped up on. It looked incredibly interesting and incredibly competitive. It piqued my interest. I started reading everything I could about it online and one day stumbled across competitive pistol shooting in USPSA.  With the cost for the equipment needed to start seemingly being 1/3 of competing in 3-gun, it seemed like a way to keep my wife from metaphorically strangling me for spending too much money on guns and still let me explore the world of competitive shooting.

 So here we are, starting from scratch in the world of competing pistol shooting. However, being competitive I knew I needed a goal... So here it is for the world to see:

By the end of 2019 I will be an A-Class USPSA shooter.

Got it? Good. I expect all of you, or maybe there will be only one of you, to hold me accountable to make the right choices to achieve that goal. If you can do that, I will commit to documenting the process. You may not even know how the class system works, how to get started yourself, where to go, what to buy, or why you should join. Sometimes, most of the time, I won't have the answer. ..but I'll give you my opinion on everything through my perspective and hopefully create enough curiosity to overcome your fear of starting. 

 As the Auburn (my Alma Mater) Creed states, "I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work."

...and remember through all of this, I am you. I may be exactly where you are at, I may be a week or month ahead of you, but in the end I am you... Let's do this together.

Matthew Zahand