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A weekend of firsts.

Last Saturday, we spent the afternoon at Joel’s favourite playground — the shooting range.  It was after all, his surprise make-up birthday party.

I tried all 3.

The air gun was most harmless though you wouldn’t want a lead pellet lodged in someone else.  Just about no recoil and bang, pretty straight forward aim-and-shoot at a bull’s eye sheet.

The shotgun was too loud for me.  We all had our earplugs in, once somebody got that gun started.  I shot twice at stationary targets and it was pretty easy to hit target.  The recoil to the shoulder was strong like a punch.  My eyes took a while to refocus on the second shot (I missed by centimetres).  The neon orange ceramic discs are biodegradable, and very visible in the white snow scape.  No one wants to trudge in knee-deep snow to save the environment… too bad with lead.

The (moose) rifle was heart-jolting (I don’t know how else to describe it).  We stood in line within 5 metres of the rifle and you feel the bang in your heart.  One trick I learnt to tolerate it was to focus on the firing end of the gun… to watch the burst of fire power instead of anticipate the loud unsettling bang.  We each fired twice at a bull’s eye target 80m away, I scored 5 + 10 points.  Easy to aim with accuracy through the mounted telescope.  I found it easier and was more certain than the other two guns.  Joel described the recoil = less abrupt, sudden than the shotgun.  I almost didn’t dare to press the trigger.  I would say the recoil was tremendous (perhaps for my physique and inexperience) and I physically popped backwards in my seat, let go of the gun and momentarily blanked out after each shot.  I suppose if I were more composed, my aim would have been better (the second shot for this and the shotgun had been “quick get it over and done with”).

The fire power and capability made it a thrill to shoot.  I’m still not a fan though.  Man… think of the extra lead I contributed to the good forests.

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Yesterday Alice and I attended a CPR course in Umeå.  I knew there was a water component but didn’t expect to have to dive 3.6m and retrieve a plastic dummy (weighing approximately the same as a 30-40kg child) from the bottom.  WITHOUT my contact lens and goggles.

Fear overcame me but it didn’t overwhelm until I started towards the other end of the pool.  The goal was to swim 10m, dive and retrieve the dummy, and tow it back to the other end (10m).  I was most unused to swimming with my head above water and have not opened my eyes under water for >20 years.  There was just no chance when my heart beat hard and fast in my ears.

To tow the dummy for 10m was exhausting too, though panic and fear had some to do with it.  Disbelief drummed in my head, how could I not manage this?  How could I not overcome this panic?  I was the only one who could not do it and this was unacceptable (age is a big factor, the other participants were teenagers.  Alice is ~21-22 years old.)  It made no difference if I was aware of my psychological state.  I was physiologically unable to cope, especially without prior and consistent training.

It was my wakeup call to address my physical stamina and condition.  Though I passed the course (turned out the CPR component was the crux) and do not need to master life-saving in the water, it has become a wall I want to scale and get the better of.  I’m gonna start running and swimming and practise that dummy-saving routine.

I'm CPR-qualified.

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