It’s been about a month and a half since we’ve seen any rain here in Central Texas. Of course, that happened during the hottest part of the year… so intense heat and no rain really compounded our drought situation.
But the weather is breaking. The heat is going away, and yesterday it started raining. As far as I can tell, it’s been raining all night. This morning has a nice steady shower. This is the sort of rain we need, so the hard ground can soften up and soak in the rain instead of it all running off. Looking at the landscaping I can tell everything is perking up, both flora and fauna.
The cool part — apart from the drastically lower temperatures — is the rain is predicted to keep up through the weekend. Just what we need.
But it’s not just what we need ecologically.
It presents a unique training opportunity.
As per usual, we’ve got classes at KR Training this weekend. Whenever weather issues coincide with classes, Karl is proactive in sending out email to all enrolled students to discuss how we’ll proceed. Sometimes we have to consider cancellation or postponement because the weather is going to be severe and detrimental to learning and safety. But this is rare, and usually class can proceed, tho with minor changes to the program. We’ve done this many times before and are able to reasonably adjust the layout to cope with weather (e.g. some drills we will do inside with dry fire; many times this actually yields better end-results!).
But as per usual, once this email goes out, the student cancellations also start to roll in.
On the one hand, I understand. There was a time in my life where I refused to get wet or get dirty and just didn’t have the right mindset in me.
On the other hand, I’ve grown and changed and realized that such a training opportunity is a blessing.
The bad guys aren’t going to wait until it’s sunny and pleasant out to attack you. No, shit can and does happen at any time under any circumstances. It’s wise to train under different circumstances and settings so these things don’t affect you, or perhaps you can learn how these situations affect you. Better to learn in practice (when you can afford mistakes and a learning opportunity) than to be forced to learn when the flag is flying. For example, while I prefer to do my dry fire practice in the morning, when I do it at night I can see how tired my eyes are and that changes things for me. I’ve read about many top competitors that vary up their practice schedule because major (national, world) matches go forward rain or shine, so you better be used to shooting in the rain, in the mud, in the wind, in less than ideal circumstances, if you want to win.
If you don’t train in discomforting situations, those situations will never become comfortable. How do you think that fares for you ability to perform in the face of whatever gets thrown your way?
If you only do the things you like, if you only work under ideal circumstances, then you are leaving large gaps in your training, education, knowledge, and ability.
Yes, I won’t train at the Austin Rifle Club in the rain because they’re in a flood plain and rain means flooding and true (avoidable) danger. But the worst that happens at the KR Training facility is a little mud.
You won’t melt.
Rain isn’t a training artifact we can conjure up. It comes when it comes, and so when opportunity knocks you ought to take it. You may learn something you couldn’t learn any other way.