Three simple words — it couldn’t be too difficult. I mean, we all know how to shoot, right? Our daddy or granddaddy taught us when we were a whipper-snapper or even if that didn’t happen we attended an [Appleseed](http://appleseedinfo.org
) or three and learned how to shoot. So, we sure believe that we have this covered.
Each of us have been moving and communicating practically all of our lives. Heck, we can travel around the globe in under a day and communicate with people on the opposite side of the planet in seconds. Most of us can even walk and talk at the same time without tripping and falling.
> I am a decent person. But if you have not eaten in 3 days, you do shameful things to survive.
The first drill is interesting by itself and you don’t have to communicate with anyone. React to contact by putting a few rounds downrange in the direction of a pop up target. Then move to better cover and position. Finally put accurate fire downrange at the target. The first few snap shots offhand are hard enough then you have to scramble a few yards away, just far enough to get your heart rate up, get into a good, low position and then put accurate fire down range. It’s more difficult than it sounds. It gets really exciting when you land on a rock hidden by leaves when getting down into prone!
It isn’t long afterwards that you have a partner and start working on the missing word: communication. It’s impossible to act as a team without good communication. Contact left, front, right, move, moving, stoppage, reloading, back in, rally, rally, rally! It sure feels like it is time to bug-out. My heart rate increased a little bit just typing in those words, remembering the adrenalin rush.
By the end of the weekend if you’re communicating properly you’ll probably be a little hoarse. Shouting over the gunfire so your buddy or team can hear and understand can be a challenge. Not everyone is going to have fancy electronic earmuffs so they can hear what you’re trying to communicate. You will also forget to say things or will freeze at points and not know what to do. I will be back to do it again to build up my [procedural memory](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedural_memory
) until it is second nature.
On Monday I had quite a bit of trouble walking and I am still very, very sore on Tuesday. A kick in the ass to understand how far I still have to go is a good thing in my book. My biggest fear in attending was that my endurance would fail. I had spent too many years behind a desk without doing anything physically taxing. I have been seriously working on my endurance for the past few months. I should have spent some time working on strength as well.
My best gear advice for this course that I haven’t read before is if you’re not used to wearing knee pads then get some sort of [neoprene knee support sleeves](http://www.amazon.com/McDavid-Reversible-Neoprene-Support-Scarlet/dp/B0000AU216
) to protect the back of your leg from the knee pad straps. I had some really nice knee pads on backorder for a month and a half before the course that probably wouldn’t have given me quite the case of friction rash like my backups did. The new ones arrived on Monday — I would like to think that [Murphy](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy’s_law
) owes me one now but that just isn’t how it works.
One of my action items before I go back is to learn how to shoot prone lefty up a valley on a slope going up on your right. Without the support from my trigger elbow I was concerned about involuntarily rolling down the hill. I didn’t mention that Max’s location sure doesn’t look like a manicured golf course like most ranges I know. Then again enemies don’t neatly line up 30 yards from each other exchanging fire across the town green anymore. You might have the most perfect positions in the world for when you are at a square range but it won’t help as much as you hope in the real world.
I had a great time and think that everyone should take at least one and probably more of Max’s courses. You will be surprised by what you learn and how important it may be to you someday. Don’t procrastinate because you will learn just as I have that you’re going to need repetition and practice. You really need to go to a course like this if you believe that a grid-down, WROL (Without Rule Of Law) style situation is possible.