- Sep 4, 2008
- Upper Valley, NH
EXTRA, EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! CINDY MAKES RIFLEMAN! Peterborough, NH, October 9th, 2011 -- Cindy, possibly the most persistent Appleseeder of all time, earned her Rifleman patch today. Overcoming equipment and ammo problems that have plagued her for no less than 9 Appleseeds, Cindy bounced up an amazing 17 points to score 219 on the last AQT of the shoot. When the AQT was scored, the crowd went wild. There were hugs and tears in abundance. Cindy didn't look well when she appeared at the shoot Sunday morning. She was wearing a lower lumbar back brace and was obviously in pain. Apparently, since her last shoot, she had developed a back problem that the chiropractor wouldn't treat, a flake of back bone impinging on a nerve. Yet, in the tradition of the American Rifleman, she persisted, adapted, and overcame. Louise, her faithful friend, helped by going down to the targets and relaying shot information. Upon seeing the back brace, the Appleseed instructor staff seemed to gird themselves for another failed attempt. When the ammo misfeeds began to happen again, the shoot boss walked over to the Smithy counter and picked up a box of round-tipped cartridges. He then waited for the next malfunction. Miraculously, it never happened. Seeing that Cindy was almost overwhelmed with the pressure--in more ways than one--the shoot boss said, "Cindy, remember the Rifleman's Bubble?" The Rifleman's Bubble is a magical place where the outside world goes away. When a Rifleman is totally in the bubble, focus on the shot is the only thing that exists. Hot brass, bee stings, any kind of pain or distraction, whatsoever, just go away. "I know it hurts, but what I want you to do is relax. It's the hardest thing to do right now, but find your center. You can do this." The shoot boss stepped back. Under his breath he said, "We've taught her everything we know, every which way, multiple times. It's up to Cindy now." Another AQT passed. Cindy scored a 202. The dejection began to set in. There was time for only one more AQT, and Cindy was growing visibly angry with frustration. The shoot boss was showing it, too. In what seemed like a fit of exasperation he yelled, "Cindy, I want to you to channel your anger. At the target. That target is your personal enemy. Think what it's doing to you. Shoot that [darn] thing!" And darn if she didn't! Through her perspicacity, Cindy taught us all a valuable lesson. No matter how frustrated, depleted, or finished one feels, there is ALWAYS a little bit more. Never, never, EVER give up. If you see it, you can shoot it. If you dream it, you can do it.