2014 has been a hell of a year: I've competed in my third Commonwealth Games, run my first half marathon, will run my second in three weeks, and am moving to New Zealand in four weeks' time. On the downside, despite my heaviest training schedule yet my shooting performance wasn't really up to scratch and at least partially because of the move to NZ I haven't been selected to represent GB at the next World Long Range Championships in America, and have been dropped from the Wales High Performance squad. Bummer.
Glasgow 2014 was a wonderful experience, made more so by having a legendary shooting pardner, fantastic coach and an incredible support network of friends and family. The downer of is that what did for me was probably the running. I now weigh 11 stone (70kg), down from 12 stone a year ago, and have a resting heart rate in the mid 40's down from the mid 60's a year ago, but my shooting jackets don't fit any more. I'd identified my physical fitness as the most significant area for improvement, following a couple of years of really hard work on my technique, so there's a certain irony here. Either way, there were still one or two highlights; smashing the 1000x shoot to get the 5th highest score in massively tricky conditions, including making a five minute wind change clean through zero to finish on a V, was great; as was coaching Chris to a damn good score in the pairs match (his ability to shoot fast and very, very flat makes this easy.)
I've had a month off shooting and will probably have at least another six weeks off before I pick the rifle up and start training once more. All my kit and rifles are coming to Auckland with me (assuming that the Indian authorities ever authorise me to fly through their airspace with them) and my entry for the NZ Champs down in Trentham is in the post. There's a brand new Creedmore hardback leather shooting jacket waiting for me in NZ which I'm itching to try. Hell, I may even video a few things and put them on YouTube. The only real decision facing me is whether I shell out the cash for hotel, flights and an individual entry to the 2015 World Long Range Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio.
Shooting career over? Hand me the gun, and ask me again...