I shoot a lot of shotgun sports. Every week, I stop by my local trap club, and shoot a few rounds of trap. 25 shots, five from five different stations, at clay targets thrown randomly from a trap house.
I like shooting trap because it forces me to clear my mind and focus. Probably the same sensation you get when you play golf. Except trap is loud, and you get to break things.
Typically. you shoot a round of trap with four other people, rotating through the five stations.
There is this old guy at the club I have shot with him several times. He is into his eighties. He walks very slow–shuffling, really, and is very unsteady. It takes him forever to walk to the line and change positions. I watch him carefully– he tends to be forgetful, and once changed stations with a live shell in his gun. I noticed he was shooting the upper barrel of his shotgun (typically you use the lower barrel for trap–less recoil). I overheard him say he used the upper barrel as he did not have the strength to fully open the shotgun to load the lower barrel.
Art is an average shot. Hit maybe 50% of the targets. He sat quietly in the clubhouse between rounds. Never really spoke with him. Last saw him in June.
He died last week.
I have been thinking a lot about Art– more than I ever did when he was alive. I hope that I too, am still going to the club, breaking targets, right up to when I die.