Overall, it's been a great shooting year for me, both on the range and off. I have a lot to be thankful for, and perhaps a few things that you might appreciate too.
The IDPA program that I co-direct has been growing: a big match for us in 2012 would have been around 50 shooters. This month, we hosted 75. I'm delighted to be bringing a smoothly running match with interesting and challenging stages to so many, whether they're completely new to the competitive shooting world or they've been around pistol sports since before IDPA even existed. And it's so much fun to have so many people at our match, then go to one of the half a dozen or dozen other regular monthly matches nearby and see my friends there too. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be part of the vibrant competitive shooting community in this region.
I finally made it to Texas and had the opportunity to instruct at the inaugural A Girl & A Gun Club National Conference. It's exciting to be a part of this growing organization bringing women together and I love that AG&AG has made it possible for me to expand my experience as a trainer while I figure out where I want to head with that aspect of my shooting. I can't wait to go back in the spring! I also got to be a student this year, which I always enjoy, apprenticing with Kathy Jackson and being taught how to shoot gooder by Ben Stoeger. I'm thankful that 2013 has allowed me to participate in the national shooting community whether by travel or closer to home.
This year, I've also continued working with, supporting, and being supported by the small, local businesses that I believe are the heart of American gun culture. Over the next few months, I'm looking forward to announcing some new partnerships and projects that are exciting for me personally, but I think that you'll be interested in them too. The entrepreneurship of the small shop going at a slice of business is really neat to watch, and seeing them explode on the regional and national stage while remaining true to their local roots? That's even more awesome. I'm thankful I get to be a part of that on a small scale.
But most of all, this year I'm thankful for all of the good friends I've made on the range - men and women both - whether we're spending time on the range or off. It's been a great year of range antics, Cards Against Humanity, sushi dinners, mad Walmart/Target runs, Star Trek jokes, late night chats, and even new jobs and a wedding. Bumping classes, winning matches, shooting down zero or all As? It all pales in comparison to this. A toast!