I like to find things to do outside that keep me moving. I also like to find things to do that get me together with my 22-year-old son, Trey. When I find something that accomplishes both, I try to make it happen. When friends invited me for target practice, I was thrilled when Trey decided to join us.
Now some people might think target practice is a terrible physical activity and might accuse me of cheating when I call it exercise. WRONG! Being the kind of person that tends to take more items than is necessary to a target practice session, I not only get exercise while at the range but also while loading and unloading my car. Ammo is HEAVY! Not to mention - I think I need to shoot every gun I own!
On a recent Saturday afternoon, Trey and I met several friends at a local private outdoor gun range to “sling some lead”. It was a beautiful day and we all had a wonderful and SAFE time. The range has a large level grassy shooting lane that has paved walkways at 50, 25, 15, 10, 7, and 3 yards from the targets, making it convenient for me to shoot from different distances in my manual chair. They offer paper, steel targets, and pop-up targets to practice reflexes. I must admit hearing the PING of the steel targets was my favorite.
Trey and I both got our fill of pulling the trigger on several different types of pistols and rifles. We also enjoyed getting tips from a certified firearms instructor. Even though I have been a firearms enthusiast most of my life and consider myself a decent shot, he was able to help me with some suggestions to make things easier and safer from a wheelchair standpoint. Handling a firearm is not something I take lightly. Nothing can replace actually drawing, aiming, and firing to keep me safe and accurate. Shooting from my chair is definitely different than the days when I could “get in my stance” to fire, but I can still hit a bulls-eye every now and then!
It seems to me a day at the range is a sport that anybody can enjoy. I have read many magazine articles about adaptive shooting sports for people with all types of disabilities using braces and triggering devices of various types. There are indoor and outdoor ranges for pistols, rifles, or shotguns and a lot of different types of shooting sports to try. As a paraplegic, I do not find shooting that much different than it was before I was injured. I’m not quite as mobile or quick as I used to be but I still enjoy a day of slinging lead!
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The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. BMD/BMDA/0316/0163