Who knew that I would feel more stress and anxiety watching the first episode of Season 3 of the History Channel’s Top Shot, than I did participating in it? Even though I know the outcome of the competition, I had no idea how the producers would edit the footage to make a show.
One week prior to the premiere, I arranged a viewing for my family and friends at my church. About a hundred people came out on a Tuesday night to watch the premiere with my family and me. We were touched by the turn out.
As the competition played out on the large screen in front of me, I wondered if this whole Top Shot experience had caused me to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. As I watched the competition, I began to feel physical symptoms associated with excitement, nervousness, anxiety and worry.
When the time came in the show for Amanda and me to compete, I felt immediate embarrassment … again. I had to relive a moment, where for the first time in my life I fired a weapon that I could not physically control no matter how I positioned my body. I vividly remember that my first shot with the Smith and Wesson 500 physically pushed me backwards. As if that’s not bad enough, I experienced this in front of my co-competitors (with whom I had yet been permitted to speak) and more than 100 camera crew and staff members. I remember thinking to myself sarcastically, “This was a great first impression.”
So here I was reliving this horrible moment in my church. Now everyone (all 2.2 million viewers) was going to know that this gun owned me! Watching the competition unfold I knew I was going to win, but that didn’t seem to matter. As it continued to play out, I felt an urge to cover my eyes. I sucked it up and forced myself to watch it. All I could focus on was the stress and embarrassment my facial expressions conveyed. For a brief moment I thought in horror, “Oh God, I’m going to hear all about this at work.” But the real shocker is that in reality no one else seemed to notice my goofy expressions. They seemed to understand exactly what I was going through and it didn’t seem to faze them. What a relief! For once my husband was right … maybe I am too critical of myself. I began to relax and for the first time in a week I started to think this premiere thing was a good idea and it was actually therapeutic.
As the first competition continued, I hit my second target (This is the point in the competition that I realized I was going to win, and I started to calm down.). I placed my sights on the third and final target and pulled the trigger. Click! “Oh, sh@#!” I ran out of ammunition! The crowd of spectators in my church broke out in laughter as soon as my profanity was ‘beeped’ out, which was quickly followed by Amanda being “beeped.” Ha! Even though Jake was the “potty mouth” of the group, the producers figured out that portraying the females as the only “potty mouths” on the show would be funny. They were right. I reloaded the Smith and Wesson 500 and hit my third and final target — giving me the win. Everyone erupted in cheers and applause. It was awesome!
The excitement and cheering continued throughout the entire show. And even though the producers edited out a huge mistake made by one of my teammates, (which resulted in a Blue team penalty during the team competition), I felt fortunate to be watching the premiere surrounded by people who support me unconditionally.
P.S. Keep an eye out for a future blog on the Smith and Wesson 500. Smith and Wesson is loaning me one so I that can learn to conquer it! I look forward to turning the tables on that beast or go broke trying!
Editor’s note: At last look, ammo for that revolver runs at least 60 cents per round. If you missed any of the episodes of any of the seasons of Top Shot, you can find them (after they’ve run on prime time, of course) at History.com.
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