This past Thursday night, I went with one of Legacy’s clients to a shooting range. (I always want to – and sometimes do – say ‘driving range’…you can tell what was in my life before!)
It is a curious place for me to be, for sure. The NRA was always a four-letter word to me. I didn’t like their friends in high places and I thought they were a bully organization. Charlton Heston, for heaven’s sake. I also write this just after the shooting in Aurora, Colorado (I was born in the Army Hospital there, ages ago!) and I know the topic of guns is swirling around all over the country. I will say that I believe the sale of assault, semi-automatic weapons should be illegal. No citizens are being denied their right to bear arms if they are not allowed to buy a weapon like that…that is just ridiculous lobby posturing.
In addition, until taking the Navy SEAL hand gun class Legacy offered our clients in June, it never occurred to me that I might be having dinner in a restaurant filled with folks carrying a concealed hand gun. That’s a pretty sobering thought, especially when I see what is being posted on the internet in response to the insanity in Colorado.
Having said all that, there I was with Harriet Langston, at the indoor shooting range.
Legacy had sponsored a day immersion at an outdoor range with Scott Phillips of TacFrog, a former Navy SEAL, who teaches the correct handling of a hand gun and how to shoot “the Navy Seal way”.
Having never even touched a gun before that immersion, having never even wanted to, I was surprised at how intriguing shooting a gun was for me. Once I overcame the concern/fear that I might accidentally shoot someone, I wanted to learn how to shoot “the Navy SEAL way,” wanted to see if I could consistently hit the target, wanted to see if I could manage my fear, settle my nerves, learn the technique, enjoy this experience that was so outside my comfort zone. I left that Saturday, after over six hours of instruction and practice, exhausted but pleased that I had been able to withstand the heat, my lack of skill, blistered and bruised hands…glad that I had taken advantage of this opportunity to try a new experience. As a coach of others, it was a good lesson for me…to see how another professional teaches a new skill, to be the student of something foreign for a change, to only have the responsibility to listen, practice, and learn something.
So, there I was at the indoor shooting range!
Harriet is a wonderful ‘teacher’ herself. She has been a shooter for quite some time, a good one at that. She enjoyed the immersion as much if not more than anyone and was so thrilled with Scott and his ability to teach her new things, allowing her to hone her already considerable skill set.
She wanted me to practice what we had been taught by TacFrog, to become more proficient, to love the process and get results. And I did with her help! I became better skilled at two things that plagued me during the class: loading ammo into the cartridge (no, it is NOT a clip) and controlling the kick or recoil so that the next bullet wouldn’t jam in the barrel. Hooray and success in both areas. Hitting some bull’s eyes was really secondary to being able to say I had gotten better in those ways. Harriet’s patience with me and her thrill at being able to help me practice what we had learned several weeks ago was so helpful. It made all the difference in my level of comfort and success. Thank you, Harriet!
I will go back to the range and practice again and look forward to the next opportunity I have to work with Scott Phillips through another Legacy day immersion. I think, especially as we age, attempting to learn something new is just about the most wonderful thing you can do for your brain!
P.S. This is me holding Harriet’s last target…she is a damn fine shot!