As a child growing up in small-town Kansas, during the early 1970s, it was a fall time ritual for the area men (and some women who were willing to break the feminine mold) to gather and practice target shooting in preparation for the deer hunting season. The community would congregate in a wheat field next door to the country Catholic Church (of which 90 percent of the hunters attended).
On occasions, I would tag along with my dad and a few of my brothers. Although I never shot the gun, I was always fascinated by the contraption the hunters used to throw the small clay disk, known as Blue Rock (or skeet) as their targets. The device used, simply known as the Blue Rock trap thrower, required someone to physically put the Blue Rock in the trap and then pull back on a lever so the Blue Rock would propel into the air, moving forward at a fast pace. I enjoyed watching that motion for quite a while and would always be amazed at how far that clay disk could travel.
Fast forward 40 years, and the Blue Rock trap thrower has returned from the depths of my childhood memories. Especially now as I commit to my own resolutions, shooting for the stars and living a few of my long-time aspirations. But just as life would have it, many setbacks have already begun to creep in. This has created some self-doubt, fear and, “What if I fail?” questions.
However, despite the failure mindset that slowly meanders into my thoughts, there is also a knowing that I will - and I must - keep moving forward despite it all. And maybe – just maybe – I must take three steps back in order to move five steps forward. Or, much like that old time Blue Rock trap thrower, I am the small clay disk and I must be pulled back (in the form of setbacks) only to gain the momentum I need to propel myself into the air, moving forward at a fast pace, landing somewhere near my dreams that have not yet become a reality.
If you too are experiencing some setbacks in meeting your life goals and dreams, and you also are questioning yourself, I invite you to hang in there with me. Afterall, challenges and hurdles will always exist whether we are living the life we want or not. It has been said the only failure is not taking chances. And, no matter what, there will always be the knowing that both you and I have tried...instead of sitting at home wishing and wondering what if. And that is the ‘what if’ question I hope I never have to ask.