Archive for February, 2012

The Journey of ASM 2012

Posted: February 18, 2012 in Shooting
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Have been wanting to record down all the daily tiny meaningful experiences in this journey of ASM 2012, but the body just don’t have the drive and the mind is lacking on words. It’s been pretty much tiring at the end of each day and all you want is just to have a good rest or enjoy the rest of the day, or rather night, getting some entertainment.

Well, I guess I’ll just do it now. Although the vivid and reliving experiences would probably not be felt as I go on to describe, I guess that’s the best I can do at this point in time. Sigh. Oh well…

The training running up to my matches was intense. Pretty intense. Well, there were official days of training specifically allocated to our formation and on the rest of the days we, basically, took on a position as “squatters” waiting to see if there were spare rounds that we might be able to train with. The bottom line is, we were there at the range everyday and we literally trained everyday, even if it was just a couple of shots, in multiples of ten. No doubt about it, it was definitely tiring. Both physically and mentally. More of the latter though. I remember that during my second week of training, frustration was building when I couldn’t understand why my shots were going haywire and I could not attribute any reasons to the outcome. I started out the week good, and got better the next day. By the third day, I hit a slump, and it got bad the next day and much worse the day after. I was like: “ARGHHHH, what is happening…” It was making me crazy with all the unfathomable outcomes, especially with the sharp declining performance with each day.

So I thought of the endless list of reasons, trying to isolate the cause so that I could perform on the actual day. First, I thought the slump was natural because I have been training everyday, and I lack adequate rest, particularly for the mind. So I accepted the performance and told myself, I must really really rest a lot. But then, I was still insecure. I recalled my first week and realised I cleaned my rifle to the least of a 95% free of carbon at the end of the week. So it might have helped the performance in the beginning of the second week. So I cleaned, disregarding my initial belief of not pulling through the barrel which was probably equally layered with carbon considering how my grouping has been tight on the targets. Still, there was a block in the road. Looking back at this point in time, I think I pretty much lost confidence in myself by the end of that week, letting myself being near-entirely affected by my daily performances.

The weird truth that sports shooters, particularly the rifle shooters, cannot truly do well in shooting with Army rifles. Hmm…well, I don’t know how much truth there is in this matter but I must agree to a certain extent, at least in my opinion. It is just the in-built mindset that has been there since my beginning of sports shooting, is to take your time, get in place, and shoot. You can’t change a mindset in period of less than a month. I mean you can mock it up, and build a temporal routine. But it’s really hard to simply push away a mindset that has been around for like…8 or 9 years? Well, the common belief is that if you are a shooter, air rifle or air pistol or similar in secondary schools or junior colleges, you can shoot well and be a marksman. Hell no…. Okay, maybe yes. But ahh well, it’s a very subjective matter and there’s a whole lot of factors that I’m not even considering to cover here.

The thing is because of this belief, there tends to a self-imposed pressure on oneself, that we are able to do as well in this discipline of shooting, and for ASM or any other similar competitions. It is an invisible expectation people expect to see. But damn it, it’s a No!

Even though, fortunately enough, I got put to compete in the Open category as an individual, the irrelevant pressure still lurks around.

Well, beyond the many pressures, obstacles and roadblocks, there are always an element of surprise in competition. No one knows, but those who expect them and are unperturbed by them will gain the advantage. The saying goes, anything can happen, especially on the actual day. And all that matters, is the very day itself. You could have done well in practice and all the training running up to that very day. But if you lose the ability to compose yourself and remain constant on your emotion graph, it just takes a poke to make you lose balance and zone out of your game. It was interesting to watch how the events and surprises were unfolding itself, the looks and expressions on the faces of the competitors. It was kinda humorous, in a way, I think.

But don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t me that was hit with the surprise on match day. I had mine just the day before. And apparently following, the previous competition I had last month, in January, when I was very ill during the match, this back injury I received before my ASM match, seem to me like a sign. Don’t exactly know what it means though. Well, I nearly didn’t manage to get through the whole ASM 2012, without actually shooting a proper actual official match, be it because of my back injury or the incident on match day. But of course, I did, eventually. And the performance? I would say it’s of total irrelevance. The performance, the outcome, it didn’t matter at all by the time I got my first shot out. I was just purely in the zone to get my routines right, get my actions right, because for all I have prepared, I could have only done that much.

It’s been a wonderful journey. There’s so much more to say. But ASM, it ain’t over. There’s still one more week.

And I thank everyone who’s been involved in giving me the opportunity to journey through this Meet, because it’s just one of the milestone in this year that shows me how much I am wanting my life to change, how much I am wanting to put and see things in a more positive perspective.

Much remains…

Pre-ASM Training

Posted: February 12, 2012 in Shooting
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This post comes a little late because I only decided to start a whole new blog recently. So essentially, it’s overdue by about 2-3 weeks?

Anyway, I will be having my shooting matches tomorrow, on Monday 13 February 2012, and that will mark the end of my competitive role in ASM 2012.

Wait, I forgot to mention what ASM stands for. It basically means Army Shooting Meet, a shooting competition within the whole army force itself, competing in different disciplines like pistol, rifle, MGs, etc.

Now that my time in this competition is about to end, let’s just pause and rewind back to the point before I embarked on this short-term detour from my service in NS.

When I first received news of when to report to my temporary attached unit to start my training for ASM, I was bombarded with so many uncertainties and doubts, and even fears. There was so much apprehension within me. I could not decide whether I should be going for the training. First of first, being an athlete, I never liked to take on a competition in which I was totally unclear of. There were too many unknowns and most of all, we had to us only a month to train and compete. Obviously, no athlete in the right mind who is doing a new thing for the first time would head out to compete within a month or less. Much worse if it is for shooting.

Although I must highlight that the ground of competitors from other formations within the army were mostly newbies to the environment too, it still doesn’t remove my sense of insecurity in participating. And eventually, it proved pretty accurate in which it takes a toll on my performance.

There were many fears too. I would say some of these fears, though, can be isolated with the use of mental skills. But apparently, certain issues become like a poison in the mind when people and organisations overly emphasize on them. And they truly limit you from doing your best.  It’s like you know you isolated it, but at the back of your head, in your subconscious, it’s banging and rippling its strength to overwhelm you. For example, with the army being the army, and Singapore being Singapore, such activity, though a more competitive form, can still be liable for chargeable offences. Ain’t that true? Never mind that fact, because the poison was deeply ingrained long before this experience – during BMT.  And that is exactly what I call, Inception. It’s the exact same concept, same principles. They plant a seed of poison into your head, let it germinate with time, and it takes over you, making you vulnerable all over.

And you know what, it definitely sucks, big time.

Nevertheless, after talking to some people, I decided to give it a try, at least for the first training. It was a tough call to make, really. Up against so many negativity, I couldn’t just stand up and push them all away from my head. It just didn’t seem possible, or maybe I was simply choosing avoidance. Even at this point of time, just a day before the match, I still have so many doubts and fears within me. (I know there’s a lot of negativity, in bits and pieces all over this entry. But I think, it’s still healthy, for now.)

Something in me, though, convinced me to go ahead and take it as an experience. Because it said that although, what seems blur then, would become clear, and it’s worth the risk to step in and experience a similar sport in another perspective. It will open my eyes and mind even more than I already know. And it’s a big risk, but right until now, I haven’t been presented with anything that tells me: This is a total waste of time; it’s not worthwhile at all.

Well, well, I’ll be doing my best tomorrow then. Only my best.

Renewed Beginnings

Posted: February 9, 2012 in Makings of the Blog
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Now at 21 and turning 22 in the year of 2012, it definitely isn’t weird to start a new blog, or am I too old for one. In fact, I think it’s a good way to keep my English Language away from rust.

But the question, to readers or friends who know me, would probably be: Why have you moved?
(It’s always the same question, isn’t it?)

Well, to those who know me: Yes, I have moved. And as always, I have my reasons.

I felt that I needed to initiate a new life, a new strength, a new source of inspiration and energy, where this new beginning marks the very start of a life of deep appreciation. For everything, from darkness to light, from the ups to the downs, from colours to dullness, from strength to weakness, from victorious to defeat, etc. I want to mark down as many things of my everyday life, putting them into perspectives. To nurture the positive mindset and opinions of everyday happenings, to harness the positive strength and energy that will inadvertently keep pushing me forward despite the several hidden potholes in this journey fore. I want to remember the moments in this life that builds upon me, making me better and better each day. These will serve as constant reminders of my relentless pursuit for excellence and integrity in my life. I want to record new learnings, analysis, findings, discoveries or simply just share the day’s joy, possibly with a photo?

This is my digital diary.

The records of my Souls of Steel.

Welcome, and feel free to air your comments as you browse the entries.

P.S. ‘Phoenix’ is tagged in this post, but I’ll relate to it when I dig some history soon.