Shit happens… even if you really don’t want it to.
Only days after the mishap during the World Championships Mixed Relay I got to experience my own target mishap. Thank goodness mine was in a NorAm. If having a season of domestic racing is to have a silver lining it might be that… messing up happens, best to get it out of the way now.
Trust me. I mess up this whole biathlon thing frequently. But today. Today was not my fault. I promise this is not a verbal tantrum. After spending most the race fighting the urge to throw my arm in the air and yell, “Really!?!? I do not understand!” all I can do is laugh and shake my head. Maybe shrug my shoulders.
Alot of things were out of our control today. The weather has no idea what it wants. Sunny. Sleeting. Pouring rain. 50mph wind gusts…. If you want to know what shooting in a hurricane feels like you should have come out to VanHo this morning. I came into shoot standing and the mat was upside down… I didn’t even notice until I was sliding across it precariously close to the firing line. Apparently the wind had tried to blow several mats away while we were out on course… oops! (didn’t stop me from hitting 4 of 5!)
The biggest flop of the day was my prone shooting. Skiing in behind a pack of youth men in their uniformly awkward baggy spandex suits I jumped into a clean point. Lucky number 9 (note that whatever number I end up with for a race, shooting, bib number, what have you… makes it either my favorite/lucky number even if it is only for the 30seconds that I’m on the shooting mat)
Range procedure. Boom. Good work Corrine. Check. Good shot. hit target! YOOOHOO! open bolt. close bolt… What!?!? Oh right… yeah someone pushed the wrong button. All of a sudden I found myself looking at a closed target. All the paddles were up. I opened my bolt and called for a range official… ok not that calm… I yelled, “HEY!!!! Someone fix my target!” (I was in the heat of the moment ok?)
They cleared the target. The next three targets go down seamlessly. I then forgot I had ejected a round and had to hand load my last shot. Hit! 5 for 5 and feeling good. Knowing you don’t have to ski that stinking penalty loop is the best feeling in the world. I always think to myself, “Hah! Hah! Sucker!” as a ski by it.
Today it wasn’t clear… do I ski the penalty loop? I did in fact shoot five bullets. and hit five targets. I had to make a choice… I didn’t ski the penalty loop. At the moment it felt right. In retrospect it might not have been the best option… but sometimes the best option is not the one you want to go with right away.
I spent the rest of the race wondering if I would get a two minute penalty for that skipped loop. I felt like a resentful child. I was NOT going to be punished for something I didn’t do. Hah! As if!
I still don’t know if I got that two minute penalty or not. And honestly… oh well? Lucky for me it is just a NorAm. It is just a biathlon race. And guess what else? Despite that target hiccup… It was my best day of shooting in a race ever! …90% Go me!