I shot my first match March of 2011. Sadly, that was before I ever thought about video taping any of the stages. However, I do have pictures.
For a first match it wasn't bad, and certainly not a bad experience. I really did not know what to expect. Myself and a shooting buddy showed up to a private club that neither of us are members of for their monthly match that is open to any and all. (Shout out to Central Arkansas Shooters Association, they are good guys).
I had only one handgun at the time, a Glock 27, so it is what I brought. I was running a Safariland ALS holster (awesome holster by the way) because it came highly recommended from an instructor and I was giving it a test run.
I didn't finish so great, definitely middle of the pack, but I beat my buddy who came with me:) Sorry dude. I learned a lot of things at this match. Lesson #1, have a double mag pouch and not a single. Easily cost me 10 seconds on a stage when I forgot I had my second spare in a pocket and the SO had to ask me if I had another reload after I had burnt through my other one. I think he was being nice because he knew it was my first match. If I were smart, I would have just said no and taken the penalty since I only needed one more round. Lesson #2, don't use a gun that runs really short 9 round magazines in SSP, because even though all my reloads where with G22 magazines, they could only be loaded with 9 rounds each. #3, don't run a gun with a short grip if you have big hands. My hands are big enough to have a significant amount on contact with the base of a short magazine, or the side of a standard G22 magazine. To get the magazines to drop free on the reload without using my support hand to rip the magazine out of the gun I had to really break open my strong hand grip and come off the gun.
That is what started the obsession. I have always enjoyed shooting, and already made a habit of pushing myself for maximum performance, but this pushes me even harder. It focuses me in different areas of shooting, like speed balanced with accuracy, speed out of the holster, speed on the reload, movement. All things that are very important in IDPA shooting, and also important outside of IDPA.
If you don't shoot matches, you should. It is a great place to test your skill and see how you stack up against other shooters. If you are competitive by nature, it will also push you to be better. Just remember, it isn't training or a test of tactics, it is a test of fundamental skill.