Getting in Shape


Cree Vicar Dave – SASS Life # 49907

With the high demand for greatness in our sport, some of you may be tempted to practice on a regular basis.  Others may participate in an exercise program.  I would hope that none would opt for steroids or other performance enhancing drugs as some are accused of doing in professional sports.  But to be sure, of the utmost importance, don’t let your trainer talk to Mr. George Mitchell.  We don’t need a big scandal in our sport.

As for me, I’m having so much fun dressing up for and participating in Cowboy Action Shooting™ I seldom allocate time to keep in shape.  But there are some things an ole timer like me can and should do on an irregular basis to at least help the style of the performance.  It says in I Corinthians 9:25 “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”  As I see it, this side of Heaven, Cowboy Action is the greatest game going.

My exhaustive exercise program:

1.      Around once a week, I do some pushups.  I started this a couple years ago.  Back when I was active in playing ball, I could do 50 pushups with ease.  But after a few years of sofa time, I was hard pressed to get ten.  Now after a meager effort of just a few years, I’m up to 20 or so.  It’s not much of an increase but I am improving and I haven’t injured myself yet.  After a couple more years, I might work my way up to 25.  But one thing I’ve noticed from this exercise is that my guns have less tendency to wave around when engaging targets.

2.      Also on a weekly basis to-do list are sit ups and attempting to touch my toes ten times or so.  What I try to do is stay limber enough to move around a stage aptly while at the same time not tightening up my stomach muscles so much that they affect negatively the regularity of my system.  After all, at my age being regular is far more important than being in shape.

3.      I’ve saved the best one for last.  This may be a big advantage for us ole times who have nothen better ta do than ta read this meandering composition.  For by now I’m sure most of the young in shape whipper snappers have given up on this article and moved on to something more vogue.  So I’ll pass on this earth shaking revelation to the hardy ole few who have more time on their hands for lack of exercise.

Last summer I noticed that the strength in my hands was not what it used to be.  While shooting traditional category it was not noticeable.  But when I took on Senior Gunfighter, it was a challenge.  So I got some hand exercisers.  The first type I got was the rubber squashy ball called a Hand Grip Gel Ball.  They work well for building up finger and palm strength.  Then I got a couple of the spring type called Hand Grip Exerciser.  In my opinion, this type works well for improving hand to revolver grip.  I put one in each hand squeezing them together with the bottom three fingers of each hand while pulling them up and out as if braking leather.  This action leaves the trigger finger and thumb free to simulate cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger.  When I first started, I had trouble holding this spring-loaded device together while simulating target engagement.  But every time I try this workout, improvement is noticed.

The best part about this exercise is that you can stay seated on the sofa the whole time watching your favorite TV program.  Whenever I feel the urge to build up the old hand grip, I just call out to the Vicar’s Wife to bring me my hand exercisers and she drops whatever she’s doing and brings them over to the sofa.  Then when I’m finished, she puts them away.  You probably should not try this at home, as it could leave a ringing in your ear.  I had quite a bit of trouble working the bugs out of the conveyance system between her and me so now I place the hand exercisers on the end table beside the sofa.  I found this to create far less static.  These hand exercisers have improved my grip and also helped the thumb trigger finger coordination. 

If you are planning to get involved in an exercise program, you should contact your doctor to see if you are healthy enough for this activity.  Don’t use exercise in excess and if you have an exercise that lasts longer than four hours contact your doctor right away as you may already be in too good of shape.

Hope to see ya on the trail

God bless,

Cree Vicar Dave