As you probably know, growing up I did not learn about guns. I did not like guns and even though I wasn’t particularly girly, I was not athletic in any way that required skill. I liked track. Running in a circle, that I could do. I was a very shy, quiet, and I kept to myself, mostly reading. I had friends, I fit in, but I was very unsure of how to act and what to say and to say that I was not cool would be a huge understatement.
As I grew up and went to college I became more outgoing and less of a recluse, but I would still keep to myself mostly. My husband and I have always had a small group of friends that we choose to spend our time with and neither one of us is what you would call adventurous. My husband was a Marine for 20 years, so that would seem a contradiction, but it isn’t. He did his job, which he loved, brilliantly, but he was not for taking risks just to take them. He will go to battle and fight to the death, but he isn’t going to bungee jump off the bridge just for an adrenalin rush and neither am I.
I have always chosen the safe path in life. The middle of the road stock options, the respectable, but not to exciting career, the 2 kids, white picket fence kind of road. It has been a good life and I have had much joy and fun, and occasionally I have detoured off the path and do something a little unconventional. When my passion overrides my fears, like when we adopted our kiddos, but I quickly returned to my cozy life.
Recently, as I have gained a new kind of peace and confidence, the kind that comes with knowing I can take care of myself, I have started to take more risks. I have a much deeper appreciation for my life and while I still have no desire to fling myself off a bridge, I am more likely to take the harder road now.
When I faced my fears about guns and not only overcame those fears, but blew them out of the water, I started to believe in myself in a new way. I am more willing to step out and fight for what I want even if it scares me or even if I am not sure I can succeed.
Confidence comes anytime one faces a challenge, whether a person succeeds at it or not. Just taking the steps forward to try is character building, but when one takes responsibility for their own life, all of it, not just the paying the bills and taking care of the children part, but for it’s very breath…that is a confidence like no other.
That is the confidence I gained when I began shooting. That is the confidence I want for my children, especially my daughters (I say that because society often doesn’t make that as easily accessible to the girls). I want that kind of confidence to pulse through their veins. I want that to be the very breath that they breathe.
Of course, there are many aspects to teaching children that kind of confidence. It isn’t as simple as putting a gun in their hand, but for our family, shooting is a vital part of the lessons we want to teach.
Our children know their life matters and they know they have the right to fight for it and to protect it. That is our number one lesson…YOU MATTER! Learning how to protect themselves is one major way to teach that lesson.
If you have never taken your child shooting then you are missing out on an incredible opportunity to teach your child, not only a skill that might one day save their life, but also a valuable tool to help them gain confidence. Talk to any woman who carries a gun and I’ll bet she will tell you that she walks a little taller and sleeps a little better knowing she knows how to use a gun.
I want to invite you to take that first step(or if you are old hat at this, then I invite you to join in anyway) and take you daughter/s to the first National Take Your Daughter To The Range Day. This year’s event will be held on June 9, 2012. I know the people putting this together and they are top notch. I will be doing everything I can to help and I hope at the very least you will come out and shoot! For more information go here