Regenerative properties of shooting...


March 15, 2004, 06:29 PM
I was sitting here musing over something that has occured to me over the last couple of days. I feel better after shooting....both physically and emotionally there is a decidedly postive physiological effect for me.

I've made no secret to any long time readers about my dissatisfaction with my job as a public school teacher. Between my ideological differences with the public education system and the rude do-nothing kids that inhabit the is truly a chore to go to work most days. Being the type-A perfectionist that I am, this is of course a recipe for disaster.

However, as most mid-career professionals will tell's tough to give up that senior level salary that you've gotten used to.

As a result, my emotional state is not always as good as I would like and my physical health often suffers as well. Usually, this manifests itself as a general sense of lethargy but also severe back and neck pain.

I'm planning my escape within the next couple of years, but that's beside the point here.

Yesterday was the MD THR rifle shoot. About a dozen members there for some real comraderie and firearm sharing. I had one of my classic backaches while on the hour drive out there....but by the end of the afternoon I was pain free and on an emotional high that was truly a blessing. Was it the fellowship or the act of shooting? Who cares.....!

Fast forward to today. Sick as a dog all day...headache, tired, runny nose. Promised wife I would meet her at the trap range for a few rounds so I schlepped over to the range and waited....almost hoping that she'd call to cancel.

After three rounds of busting clays (and not all that well I'm afraid) I felt energized, headache free and in a general sense of well-being.

I'm a professional musician and it's no secret that the act of making music has restorative properties that have been studied for years. Who'd have thought that busting clays and punching holes in paper could do likewise?

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Declaration Day
March 15, 2004, 06:34 PM
I make a point to go to the range whenever I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. It's an outlet for frustration, its fun, and you can't beat the fellowship of other gun enthusiasts. Truly, nothing can brighten my day like a trip to the range.

March 15, 2004, 06:39 PM
Declaration Day....

I guess I've got just enough granola, kum-bay-ya, tree hugger in me to believe that there is more to our daily actions than meets the eye. In other words, for every action, there is an equal but not always opposite reaction.

I reaching that age (36) where all of the stress in my life is beginning to hurt many ways. If shooting, coupled with exercise, a massage every couple of weeks and lifestyle changes can help me.....I'm all for it!

March 15, 2004, 06:59 PM
Oh, to be 36 again ..... :rolleyes:

March 15, 2004, 07:05 PM
I know what ya mean Norton, I'm only 25 but with two little kids I feel like I'm 36! It's always very calming and relaxing for me to head to the range after a week of work. Even if it's just with a .22.

Old Fuff
March 15, 2004, 07:11 PM
I think that emotional/physical/intellectual stress causes the body to tighten up, with resulting pain. Shooting targets forces you to concentrate on something else, and the change of direction brings relief.

Anyway, that happens with me. As for teaching, we are blessed to have people like you still in the profession.

Thanks .........

Declaration Day
March 15, 2004, 07:12 PM
Going to the range makes me feel proud to exercise an important right; arguably the most important of many that our forefathers fought and died to preserve. Gives me a warm feeling, as I think about that the whole time I am there.

Dave R
March 15, 2004, 07:31 PM
There are a lot of recreational theories out there stating that recreational activities which FORCE the mind to concentrate on the task at hand, and therefore force out all the "bad vibes", are the most theraputic types of recreation.

Shooting certainlhy qualifies.

Then there is another, simpler school of thought that basically says "torque and recoil are good things."

Either way, shooting qualifies.

March 15, 2004, 07:58 PM
Finally, somebody mentions this. :) :) :)

I always mention to folks, after shooting, how much better I feel.

Stress relief = a longer, happier life.

Missed shooting this weekend, and I'm stressed, on Monday. :uhoh:

March 15, 2004, 08:02 PM
Anyway, that happens with me. As for teaching, we are blessed to have people like you still in the profession.

Thanks, though I'm unsure how much longer I'll make it. I guess I've taken the approach that if I abandon the will be JUST the other side getting to the kids.

I may have to hand the stick off in this marathin and let someone else carry on.

Standing Wolf
March 15, 2004, 08:07 PM
I find the concentration involved in bullseye shooting helps me exclude extraneous concerns, and when I resume them, they usually seem less weighty.

I've noticed that even when my arthritis is giving me a great deal of trouble, a trip to the range and the effort of cleaning a gun or guns usually leave my hands in noticeably less pain.

I can't truthfully say my hearing's improved.

March 15, 2004, 08:10 PM
Yeah, sometimes it feels like a chore just to get to the range. But afterwards I always feel glad I came and look forward to the next trip.

March 15, 2004, 10:24 PM
Absolutely! It's kinda like making amore'. Afterward, I always wonder why I don't do this more often...and I have an odd craving for a cigarette.

Baba Louie
March 15, 2004, 10:48 PM
You're so right about this. When I started shooting with my Dad and Uncles I noticed that exuberance and made the mistake of mentioning it to my Dad, who promptly told my Uncles "Bobby told me that going shooting makes him feel all warm and happy inside". I took a lot of ribbing from them, but they all agreed that only one thing was better than going shooting with friends and family... but wouldn't tell me what that one thing was. :mad:
I finally figured it out :D but still think that the glow I get from a session shooting calms me down from whatever momentary problems I think I might be suffering (without the mandatory 20 minute recharge nap right afterwards).
And hunting! A dog, a shotgun, a cornrow stubble field and maybe even a bird or two... Heaven.

March 15, 2004, 11:20 PM
Used to be, that by Friday night I was full of the job, a totally disreputable boss, and all the little and large frustrations that accumulate during the week. Even a couple of hours on the range could take the edge off, and a full day of shooting was better than a month in re-hab. "Range therapy" even helped with the boss. He eventually found out that I was a shooter, and while his attitude didn't do a 180°, he did become nearly civil when he came around my area.

rust collector
March 16, 2004, 12:19 AM
I too have noticed that a range session tends to leave me all smiley and relaxed. Must be those danged endorphins! Watch out, it tends to be addictive as well as therapeutic.

The only way to enhance the experience is to bring a friend or young one along. When you're at the range the BS stops when the targets are checked, and there are plenty of teachable moments as the nephew's eyes widen.

Commence firing. Life is good.

March 16, 2004, 02:18 PM
Shooting sports and golf are games that are played between the ears. The body is merely a means of allowing the brain to compete

To shoot or play golf one has to have intent concentration on the task at hand. Distractions must be blocked out. External stimuli are to be controlled. The body is under control of the mind. Breathing is controlled. Eyesight is focused. Your entire world collapses to the front site and your trigger finger. Hearing is mutted.

Being successful at shooting or gold requires the same skills. Those skills are also learned in meditation.

It refreshes the mind, stresses the body, clarifies what it important in life.

Shooting (and golf) are just plain good for the head.

March 16, 2004, 03:55 PM
It probably is physical on the microscopic level.


March 16, 2004, 07:19 PM

I find it interesting that I have had several newbies tell me the same thing. One thing is that us "geezers" (I'm 36 too :) ) have figured this out but it's fun when beginners try to sum up a range session and they use words like "meditation" and "zen" and "relaxing".

Shooting (and golf) are just plain good for the head. And here I was, thinking that golf is just an expensive way to go for a walk. :p

Seriously, I've never played golf, but one of the newbies I mentioned said after her first trip to the range that "This is just like golf".

At a seminar for shooting coaches that I attended, we had a visit from a former world bowling champion who talked about the "between the ears" aspect of our respective games. There's a lot you can bring from one "head-game" to another. My personal favourite is darts.

March 16, 2004, 07:50 PM
I know exactly what you're talking about Norton. The first (and only) time I shot a perfect round of trap was after having a big fight with my girlfriend. Out of 4 rounds that day, my lowest score was a 22.

El Tejon
March 16, 2004, 08:35 PM
Flowing waters never turn putrid.:)

Behold the restorative powers of Taijigun!:D

March 16, 2004, 08:47 PM
I too return from a range trip feeling nice and calm, stress-free. My wife thought that is was strange to engage in such a loud, violent action as shooting and find it truly relaxing. Like others, I've come to think that the act of shooting well, focusing solely on that front sight and smooth trigger pull that breaks right when you want it to, with good follow through, is kind of a meditative pursuit. So, great news, I am not alone. But, I am just a young 34 years old!

Maybe I can use this thread to justify the 1911 I am crazily lusting after, "... think of the health benefits, honey!"

March 16, 2004, 08:54 PM
Shooting (and golf) are just plain good for the head.
Who was it who first said that a golf course is a waste of a perfectly good rifle range? :D

March 16, 2004, 08:57 PM
I deal in what you could say is customer service and feel greatly restored and of better moods when i go out and pound some rounds downrange

Plus im Calmer and seem to have a Clearer thought process

El Tejon
March 16, 2004, 09:03 PM
Preacherman, sounds like El Tejon but if you've seen him golf you would understand.

I don't yell "Fore", I have to yell "Eight.":D

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