Finding my Grit, My Road to Mammoth
For a lot of people, their entire focus is on making life easier, to put the rough seas of life’s struggles to their back and steer towards flat water and fair winds. I fully admit I fell into this trap, especially in my shooting life.
As a writer, I have the unique opportunities to get trigger time behind a wide array of new and yet to be released weapons. The biggest, baddest toys with all the bangs and whistles are at my fingertips. You’d think having access to that variety of bangsticks would lend itself to countless hours crawling around in the dirt guys who are the subjects of movies or would endow me with of a Faustian knowledge of marksmanship secrets and the skillset to match. Not so much, at least not for this writer. Suffice it to say that deadlines and limited time with the weapon and more time interviewing experts than being taught by them has created a comfortable laziness in my shooting skills. Going to the same ranges to quickly gather data from a rifle clamped in a vice.
Don’t’ get me wrong, I LOVE the opportunity to write about what I love doing. A bad day at the range beats a good day behind my desk any day. I realized however that my skills were no-where near I really want them to me. I was extremely discontent with my ability to put lead on target with precision and consistently in various conditions. I was becoming a FANBOY and not a real shooter. I was on the sidelines and not in the game where I wanted to be.
I knew I had to break my mind-numbing and skill diminishing routine. How then was I to “roughen up the sea”, hone some skills and maybe gain some new ones?
A friend introduced me to long-range shooting guru Scott McCree. A 2-hour conversation with Scotty eventually lead me to shooting with some former active duty Marine snipers; and by shooting I mean sitting behind the line watching these wizards throw lead down range, dinging steel at will out to 4 digit yardage. They started talking about an event they do that sounded like it is part Spartan race and part marathon wrapped up into a long-range shooting competition all while trying to survive a long weekend in the middle of the wilderness with only what you can carry on your back. The more they talked the more intrigued I became and knew I wanted in.
More specifically, they were talking about their competing in The Mammoth Ultimate Sniper Challenge If you haven’t heard about the Mammoth sniper challenge, it is arguably the most extreme shooting competition in the US. Teams of two head out into the woods for 3 days of rucking from shooting stage to shooting stage at a prescribed pace. Each stage will have a specific course of fire which will test the shooters’ ability to adapt to awkward shooting positions, knowledge of their weapon systems ballistics, strategic thinking and often the ability to recover from a physically demanding task. Did I mention that this is over the course of 3-4 days so you’ll be carrying not only your weapons system and ammo but everything you will need to survive a shelter yourself in the woods?
In 2019 under the management of G3 dynamics (the competition focused division of Grunt Style) the Sniper Challenge is expected to be taken up a notch. Think longer Rucks, tougher shooting problems and of course Bigger Badder obstacles.
Knowing that this event will challenge even the most seasoned shooter, I signed up anyway. Realizing I was already behind the training curve I started seeking out as much advice from as many people I could, the more I talked to people the more I realized how rough the road was ahead of me.
Let’s put this in perspective, I’m a 50-year-old dad and husband who’s 25+ lbs over his ideal weight, in need of serious work on long-range precision lead slinging. Time is a precious commodity with my wife and family taking priority followed by the responsibilities of a fulltime job. So what am I thinking committing myself to something WAAAAAY outside my comfort zone and current skill set? Simply put Challenge equals change and Change equals growth, I have to figure out how in 20 weeks I can start at what is essentially zero and be competitive in an event dominated by guys/gals a couple of decades younger who can train full time to put their skills on the line for our freedom. Knowing that I can’t be good from the start but I have to start to be good, what does THE ROAD TO MAMMOTH look like.
How do eat a mammoth? One bite at a time.
With American Grit, Grunt Style, G3 dynamics and the help of several industry experts I’d like to take you with me on my ROAD TO MAMMOTH. I’ll share with you my training, thoughts, misconceptions, successes, failures and foolhardy thought processes and revelations as I prepare to take on what promises to be a life-changing challenge. With full transparency, and at risk of severe trolling, I’ll share a my “road to Mammoth journal” as it were. You can check back weekly with American Grit and check out my Instagram posts @3poundpull_boresightimage or by following #trainingformammoth. A Youtube channel is coming soon! I’m always open to advice, constructive (respectful) criticism and if you have a product you want me to try out, I’m open to that too.
Thanks for taking the journey with me!! I’ll see you at MAMMOTH ‘19