On Saturday I got up at 4:30am like I always do when I work. I hopped in the shower and when I got out my hubby was waiting there with a cup of coffee…heaven!
John has another person who works for him, Ryan. He has been working for John a while, so he knows the ins and outs of the operation very well. Originally he was suppose to show me the ropes, but the first few weekends I worked he had conflicts, so I went it alone. This weekend I finally got to meet him. Lucky me. He doesn’t read my blog, so I can say whatever I want and get away with it, but truly he is a good guy. Smart, funny, nice, confident… We spent a lot of time together just talking because while John is teaching the classroom portion Ryan and I have nothing to do. We talked family, guns, war movies, guns, actual war, self defense, military, John(but don’t tell him), guns, and I think guns, oh and books. He is the one who suggested I read On Killing by Lt. Col. Grossman. If you have to spend 12 hours a day with people, it should be people like the guys I work with. Had a blast!!
The day started out hot. By 8am it was already 80 degrees. Outside, all day with little to no shade in high heat and humidity made for a long day. I love the heat and the temp didn’t bother me, but I was pretty sweaty and sticky. My pants felt 5 pounds heavier by the end of the day. Our class was a mix of men and women and a variety of skill levels as usual. I keep waiting for the complete jerk to take a class from us, but so far, we have only had the best folks. This group was a little more sedate than the past groups, but still good people to hang with for 2 days.
We had a young girl, 18, that blew us a way. I am not sure of her experience with guns prior to taking the course, but her accuracy was scary good. Her dad took the class with her, which I loved, and he was bursting with pride. She was quiet, but when the class was all done and people were standing around chit chatting she came up to talk to me. She was talking very fast and she could not stop smiling. She beamed! Good stuff.
Each student has a neat stories of their life and I like hearing what brought them to our course. I truly enjoy that part of the job. I enjoy every part of my job, but you know that.
One student usually stands out though. For me it was a woman about my age, had no experience at all and I mean none, didn’t really want to be there and was terrified. She was smart and had common sense, but it was hiding under all that fear. She had about every “issue” a new shooter could have and no matter how many times she was reminded to say, not put both index fingers in the trigger guard she just couldn’t get her brain to engage.
I love the brain and I love watching it work. I could clearly see that she was so heavily concentrating on one aspect that she had nothing left to be able to address any other issue. I would say that she was the student that has present the greatest challenge in terms of getting her mind into the game.
Typically after students get the first few shots off they relax and steadily grow in both skill and confidence. This was not the case with this lady. She was never able to relax. By the end of day 1 we had made some progress with her, but she was still very shaky. Before she left for the day, I gave her a little pep talk as did John.
One of the things that was most rewarding in dealing with her is that we had to think outside the box and find unique was to relate to her. Trying to help her simply understand the skill we were trying to teach her and at the same time finding ways to get her mind to be able to hold on to the information long enough for her to perform it correctly and build those precious neural pathways. I was able to aide in this, almost instinctively. That was pretty cool.
I worried a bit about her that night and hoped that she would return for day 2. She did and while still nervous, she relaxed enough to be able to better focus. She struggled to keep up with the class on day one, but day two she kept pace. By the last drill she was on fire. Cool, calm, collected. She rocked it! It was amazing to watch. At the end of the day I saw her smile for the first time all weekend and she came to give me a huge hug.
I would say it was easily the most exhausting, thrilling, rewarding time I have ever spent at work. I can’t wait to do it again!