The Gross National Debt

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bravery is not the lack of fear


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Bravery is admitting fear exists and deciding it will not rule you.

The difference between the coward and the hero is the hero stands and the coward runs.

I have said before I do not understand why some people have a fear of public speaking, a fear so deep set that it is greater than the fear of death. I suppose this is one of those things - you have to be there. I'm not there. I like public speaking.

I admire people who can overcome their fear without chemical additives.

I found out just how much I admire these people on Saturday at the Forest City Gun Club in Savannah.

To splain, Clan Baker was there along with hundreds of other families and stack of people from my county for the annual 4-H Skeet and Trap State competition. I do not know how we placed overall because we headed home before the results were announced.

We were there because Susan is a member of the Junior 4-H team. As such, she earned a spot at the state tournament. I took my intense dislike of Savannah and shoved it into a steel coffin with garlic-impregnated sheets on the inside, nailed shut with silver nails, bedecked with crucifixes and sank the whole thing in a tank of sanctified gasoline with a dead man's switch on a torch hovering overhead.

Saturday morning at the Forest City Gun Club, our county was one of several to take the range for round one. Susan strode out, loaded her shooting pouch with shells, grabbed her shotgun and took the line. She shot last, a decision she's made since joining the shooting team two years ago.

Round 1 was skeet. Not her best event. She shot consistently, however. In three rounds she had the same score each time.

I did not know it at the time, but she was so nervous she could barely hold her shotgun. Literally. Afterward she told he how much she was shaking on the line. Prior to the Trap round at 12:30, she showed me how nervous she was. I have only seen people shake that much when in the grip of near hypothermia or some other medical malady.
A skeet field.

After morning skeet shoot was over when the scores were tallied, the coach extended congrats and the referee gave some parting advice, he told Susan "You need to be on Xanax."

I got that bit on film too. If it makes the cut, it'll be part of Real Outdoors with Team No Prisoners, which airs on Predator TV. Pretty sure it will make it to the blooper real on the DVDs.

At the range I told Susan how proud of her I was (and am.) On the ride home I thought it over more. I became increasingly proud of her.

Her she was, so nervous she could barely hold a shotgun and yet she went on to compete. She didn't come in first in the standings, but she came first for the sheer tenacity displayed. I've seen other people who would have collapsed under that kind of pressure.

Not Susan.

Too many people are ruled by their fears instead of ruling the fear. On Saturday my daughter showed she may have fears, but they will not stop her.

That's the attitude we all need to have.

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