Let me start by saying that over the past two years I've tried some new things...learning to SCUBA dive, CrossFit workouts and learning to shoot are a few of those new things. And, let me add to that by saying I've been a big chicken about all of it. I'm not good with change and usually end up being a cry-baby at some point because I stress myself out so bad when I'm faced with new challenges. But, I guess the main point that I'm focusing on is that I'm learning to face my fears (with lots of help) and to overcome them! This weekend I can say I've officially crossed my fear of guns (and actually shooting one) off the list. Ok, well maybe not all guns, but at least ones that will fit in my hand comfortably. I don't mean pellet guns or something like that; I mean real fire arms.
My husband has taken me to shoot at a gun range on more than one occasion and I've gotten freaked out and opted out of shooting on more than one occasion. This Saturday we went to an indoor range so that I could rent a gun that would fit my hands better than the 9mm that he has. I still used a 9mm, but it was a Sig Sauer P239, which I could reach my index finger around the trigger.
Of course I started off with my usual song and dance...looking at my husband with teary eyes saying, "I'm just so nervous...I can't do this! My hands are sweating! I can't do this!" Hubby can be a great coach and is always able to walk me through this phase when I let him. He helped me get over my fears when I was learning to SCUBA (and I'm sure he'll be tested again in a few weeks when we go for more dive certifications since my chicken antics like to resurface) and he was very patient with me AGAIN Saturday when I was telling myself I couldn't calm down and fire the stupid gun.
Yep, my eyes watered and I had to focus on my chicken-ass breathing so I wouldn't over-freak out, but he talked me through it and reminded me that I could handle this. (Glad you didn't see me...wiping my palms on my pants over and over, eye balls bulging...I'm sure I looked like a complete dork!) Finally, I told myself I wasn't at the freakin' Olympics competing for my country and that I could do this. I fired away. And, I did a lot better than I figured I could do!!! I shot through three boxes of ammo...Hubby kept going and getting more which made me feel he was proud of me and wanted me to keep going. I appreciated that so much! We reviewed my shots on the targets and could see that my aim improved each time and my shots were pretty consistent for a novice. I even made a couple of bulls-eyes! I practiced loading and unloading the gun I can't tell you how many times, but that made me feel so much better. I've always been afraid I would fire the thing by accident, so getting comfortable with the magazine and the bullets, clearing a round and checking to see what was in the chamber, over and over really helped to relax me. We even timed me once to see how long it took me to load the magazine then put the clip in and check the chamber, press check, etc. I'm not really sure if I'm using the correct terminology here...more practice is required!
Anyway, moral of the story...I did well and am learning once again to have more faith in my abilities. I'm getting better at not talking myself out of what I'm able to accomplish. I felt so good when we finished shooting! I thanked my hubby several times for being so patient with me and working through my anxiety with me. I can't wait to go shooting again!