Conversation With Arete

**Edited for brevity and some of it is personal and private, so I did not include that**

This is midway into the conversation…

A-I knew something was up. I just didn’t say anything.

Me-That would have been a helpful tid bit of information to know.

A-And what would you have said, if I asked what was wrong?

Me-I would have said nothing was wrong.

A-Exactly and then what would have happened “Miss dig my heels in and won’t budge an inch?”

Me-Not really enjoying the mental part of this training. Would rather just be able to fight.

A-Can’t have one without the other.

Me-Yeah, I know. It’s good that I figured it out for myself.

 A pause between texts

A-Did you call me an ass on your blog?



Fun Times Ahead

Tomorrow and Sunday I work at FPF Training.  It is a Conceal Carry For Self Defensive class and you all know how much I love those.  I am giving you a 3 day warning, so you can prepare yourself for one of my long winded, OH MY GOSH, I LOVE MY LIFE, posts.

On June 2nd, I am heading to Nancy R.’s place for a Kid Shoot!  Never been to one, but I am betting that it will rock!

June 9th is the first National Take Your Daughter To The Range Day and I am about bursting out of my skin with excitement.  So honored to be a part of it!

One last thing, not even worth mentioning really, but it appears that standing by while I get myself worked up into a tizzy then waiting and watching to see if I either pull it together or completely self destruct is a plan of some people. I am not going to mention any names, but is starts with an A and ends with an ASS.  That  might not be the most common way of spelling it though.

My Own Worst Enemy

Breaking news here folks…no one can mess you up more than you can mess yourself up or maybe it’s just me.

Occasionally in the past few months I have let other people get into my head and once that happens I am incapable of processing information. It becomes like a very intense ping pong game inside my head.

Ping:You are this or that.

Pong:No you are no this or that.

Ping:Yes you are this or that.

For a while now, I have been crystal clear on where I stand. My beliefs are not so much beliefs anymore as much as they are actually who I am. The thoughts are woven so tightly into the fibers of my mind that I don’t think it’s me, it is me. I have stopped thinking and instead just conducted myself from that place inside me that has become who I am. No second guessing. No analyzing. Just being.

The problem isn’t that I don’t know who I am or what I am capable of, the problem is when I start putting more stock into what someone else says is true of me rather than  holding fast to what I know is true of me. When I allow that to happen, I start to override my own beliefs in favor of theirs and a very ugly internal battle ensues.

No big deal. Lesson learned…again. I am back to my calm, cool, collected, very self-aware self. All is, once again, good to go in AGirlland.

Five Guns

Monty On Guns wrote a post called “Five Guns That Changed History”.  He had read an article with the same title, but decided he did not agree with the findings, so he made his own list. Last night I was watching the Military Channel’s Ultimate Weapons. They were listing their top gun choices for close quarter battles which reminded me of Monty’s post, so  I posted that on my FB. Monty liked my status and commented, “Can’t wait to see your list.”

I don’t really have a list for guns that changed history or that I would use if I were in a close quarter military type battle, but I do have my favs.  Here is goes…

5. M1 Garand- Love the history, love the look, love the feel.

4. Mosin-Nagant- Love the history, love the look, love the feel.

3. M1 Garand- Love the kick

2. Mosin-Nagant- Love the kick

1. Tie between the M1 Garand & Mosin-Nagant- They make me happy…REALLY, REALLY HAPPY!!!

Honorable mention-the M&P that sits on my hip-it’s a fairly good equalizer.

An Update- “You Make It Sound So Easy”

Remember the woman who left a comment on my blog and said “you make it sound so easy”? Well, she did connect me right after that post and we have been chit chatting. She wanted me to tell you all that she is doing ok. At that time I encouraged her to think about finding someone she could talk to because as much as I wanted to help, I was not qualified to do so. She was already ready to take that step and she did find a support group at a local hospital. She says it has been a fabulous place for her and she finds hope and strength there.

I think that she is incredibly brave to have reached out and amazingly strong to face this ugliness head and to not take the easy way. To not just sit back and suffer, but to fight the fight and find her way back.

She is not ready to post here again. She said someday she hopes to share her story with all of you, but she just can’t do that yet. She does read the blog though, so feel free to offer her words of support.

I will start. You know this already, but I am so, so, very proud of you!! Your determination to fight for your own life is an inspiration. I know it has been a much longer struggle for you, but you have not given up and for that you should be mighty proud. I am beyond thankful that you left a comment and I am so thankful that I get to be on this journey of healing with you!

The Never Ending Saga

One last thing on my training with Arete and my inability to hit him. Isn’t going to be the last thing on training just hopefully on “not” hitting him.

Last night my husband and I had a lively discussion.  We were not fighting and it was not contentious or anything like that, but we were passionately discussing whatever.  At one point he said, hit me.  He was just being silly and trying to add levity to a heavy discussion.  Of course, I laughed and said I don’t think so.  He laughed and said it again.  Hit me.  He said, you are all kinds of worked up, I bet you could hurt me. Working on my mindset has become a 24/7 kind of thing for the people in my life, apparently.

As an aside, “all kinds of worked up” for me means, I talk fast and kind of pace around.  No cussing, no throwing of objects, no desire to hurt anyone. 

He was 100% joking and I did not hit him.  This isn’t about the fact that if one is upset they probably shouldn’t go around hitting people.  Of course, not.  My husband isn’t a bad guy and hitting him in anger(I was not angry, anyway) is not part of any kind of training.  He was joking. No one needs to leave a comment about how that should not be my goal.  If anonymous is reading this.  IT WAS A JOKE.

But, it got me thinking…maybe the reason I can’t hit Arete is that he is not a bad guy.  Maybe I have been over thinking things(it has been suggested by a few that I do this)  On Friday when I did not hit him, I was frustrated and the main reason was because it surprised me that I couldn’t, but really it wasn’t that I couldn’t, it was that I didn’t.  There were 2 times that I came very close to hitting him.  He was annoying me and making me mad and when I was getting mad at him, I felt like hitting him.  So, good guy, don’t want to hit you.  Acting like a jerk, kind of want to hit you.  I have never felt like wanting to hit someone before, but I did want to. That’s progress.

If you ask me if I think I could tear a part a bad guy with my bare hands and do whatever it takes to stop his attack,  I will say, yes and I will mean it.  Just like with my gun, I play scenarios over and over in my mind of doing just that.  I try to be as graphic and brutal in my thoughts and my imagination as possible and I never cry or feel bad or think, “Oh, I will never be able to do that.”  Just the opposite.  I think, “I can do that”  and I usually get very motivated and want to call up Arete and say, “Please, please, please meet me I am so ready to hit you”.

Maybe the mental block is not in my lack of wolfness. Maybe it is in my inability to separate out that he is not a bad guy and then over thinking it and then turning it into meaning something it doesn’t.

Maybe I am learning things and maybe my mind is changing and honestly, I do believe to my core that  if a bad guy came after me, I would be able to hit, punch, kick, gouge his eyes out and/or any other number of violent responses to the threat. 

Regardless, I am sick to death of this internal battle. I am done. I am so done.  I did actually for a split second think of driving to his work and saying, enough.  This has to end, now, but I thought better of it. Showing up at a place of business, storming in his office and punching him seems like a situation that would end poorly for me, so I will wait for a scheduled meeting, but  I am telling you, the next time I train, I AM going to hit him.  I think I will wait until he says to though(sorry 45er) cuz  he hits hard and I just don’t think a surprise attack on a trained sniper is a good idea.  Maybe I will save that for the next session or perhaps the one after that…



A Little Of This And A Little of That

I DID IT.  I finished Above Reproach!!!  You people should get this book.  Not gonna tell you anything about it because that would ruin the fun for you, but I will say I loved it! 

There is a very nice lady who follows me on FB and is looking for quality firearms training. She lives Northeast of Dallas TX and is looking for something in the area.  I asked around and got a recommendation, but that facility is located Southwest of Dallas and she is not interested in dealing with the traffic.  Apparently it is not fun.  Any suggestions for her?

I really, really, really think if you are a new shooter(anyone actually) you should be reading what Bill has to say.

Someone asked me recently what my favorite thing about writing my blog is.  Can’t answer that question because I get so much from it, but when I get emails from other women telling me that something I said motivated them in someway to make a positive change or two in their life, that means the world to me. Yesterday was a good day for that.  I got 4 such emails.  I have said it before and I will say it again, the person who makes the change or faces the fear or overcomes the obstacle, they get full credit.  Those changes say something about them, about who they are and it says nothing about me, but that I was a tiny part of their step forward(Obama has totally ruined that word for me.  I almost can’t even use it anymore) is pretty cool.

My husband and I have an appointment with the superintendent and “other” staffers tomorrow to discuss the safety issues we are concerned about.   Last night I was thinking about it and I wondered how many other parents have requested a meeting.  Very interested to hear what they have to say.  Wish us luck!

Some People I Consider Friends

I know you all remember our very first contest winner, Mrs. Groundhog. I love this woman.  We have become friends and have developed what I consider to be a special relationship.  I like that I have been able to encourage her and that she has been such a support to me.  She understands the lingering effects of a bad guy encounter.  She has been instrumental in helping me to accept that this experience is going to be with me for life.  No matter how strong, healthy, and  happy I am, most likely, for the rest of my life something will spark that memory, probably when I least expect it. She never says those words, but as she shares her life with me, her own memories and her strength,  I learn and I grow.

Every time I do a Give-A-Way, I have a bit of a let down after the winner is picked.  I get so excited about the possibilities and I get so inspired by the many women who step up, reach out and take a chance.  I get tickled at the anticipation of another woman saying, “Nope, not me”  “Not gonna be a victim again or ever.”  Then the winner is picked and I feel a sense of loss for those who didn’t get picked by the random number selector. Everyone, every single lady has a story, a reason why she took the step forward and each one deserves to win and even though I know going in they all can’t win, I am still bummed. Life is like that.  The good with the bad. I had no idea anything more would develop out of the contest, but something did.  A wonderful connection with a wonderful woman.

Life is also full of paradoxes.  I set out only to do something for someone else.  To give back to a community that gave so much to me and wouldn’t you know it, I am reaping reward after reward.  I have been extremely fortunate that I have had a chance to get to know Mrs. Groundhog.  She rocks!

If you have not taken the time to get to know her please go visit her husband’s blog and see for yourself.  Mrs. Groundhog completed the first of three shooting courses and her hubby wrote about it.  It’s a great post.  I would encourage you all to leave her words of encouragement as she continues on this journey.

Tango Juliet and I, among other things, share a love and passion for training.  We both travel all over and are relentless in our pursuit of self defense.  He has also been a great source of inspiration to me.  He is farther along on his quest than me and has been more places plus he is a man, so he doesn’t share the same mental blocks, but his enthusiasm and strength encourages me.

Strength not arrogance encourages me.  Arrogance intimidates me and demotivates me to the point of self destruction almost, but strength, that inspires me and moves me to the point that I believe in myself and then I actually do.  It is a trait that all the people I admire, most, have.

TJ recently wrote a fascinating post about a training he just attended.  I think CTone will especially find it interesting, but so will the rest of you.

After I read the post and watched the video over at Legion’s Fate, I thought, well geez, if Arete beat the crap out me like that I would probably would be able to hit him.  Joking, joking.  Not serious Arete, not serious.

Go enjoy.

Training With Arete

On Friday afternoon I got to do a little one on one with the man I call Arete.  He is crazy busy, so I don’t get as much time with him as I would like, but I am grateful for every minute I do.

Anyway, we met and did a quick review of what we had done previously.

He showed me a few new things about leg grabs and choke holds.  Different ways to get out of them.  I am used to the just go limp defense, but he should me several other things I could do to get out of a choke hold or at least get my chin between the bad guys arm and my throat, so I can keep breathing.  I don’t want to explain what he shows me because I am afraid I wouldn’t explain it correctly. I really don’t want anyone to try something based on my weak explanation.  That would not be good, but trust me, what he is teaching me is pretty cool.

He likes to just come at me and do things to see how I will react.  This rarely ends well for me, but I am getting better.  In the beginning, I would stand there and freeze cuz, well, that’s what I do when I am nervous.  I freeze.  I can’t think or process information, but not on Friday.  On Friday, I fought back.

Fought back is probably not the right phrase.  I didn’t fight, but I did defended myself.  I blocked punches and I moved.  I wrestled out of leg grabs and avoided getting taken to the ground a few times.  I still did not throw a single punch while we were “fighting”.

He did try to get me to fight though.  He did his traditional “punch me” line. I stood there for a few minutes, but eventually did hit his chest.  He was not so much impressed, so he got the pad and I hit that a few times and did a few knee exercises.

At one point my back was to a baseball field and he asked me if anyone was on the field and I said yes.  He asked who.  I said 3 guys and he asked me what they were doing.  I said watching me and he said yep.  They were not even subtle about it.  They just stood there watching.  Not that I am surprised, it is not everyday that one goes to a park and watches a chic get the crap kicked out of her.  It was probably a sight.

The good thing was that even though I was listening to him and trying to block punches etc, I was still cognizant enough to remember to look around and see who else was at the park.  Later he was talking to me about a woman that was standing at her car.  I looked and then turned back around to listen to him.  After he talked for a bit he asked me if anyone was with her and I said yep a little boy.  He wanted to know what color the boys jacket was.  I thought I knew, but instead of saying I got nervous and said I didn’t know to which he replied what he always replies…”Yes, you do.”  Usually, he is wrong and I don’t know, but I said red.  Bingo, the boy’s jacket was red.  Apparently, it also had a white strip or something.  He is way more detail oriented than me, but I am making progress. 

At the end he was coming at me and punching and I was blocking and he said you can hit back.  I didn’t say anything and so he said, “I know you hate it, but you have to learn to become the aggressor.”  He does not mean this in the literal sense of me going out and attacking people.  He just means, I need to work on the mental block I have about hitting another person.

Just not there yet. He pointed out what has been pointed out a millions times…it is a process.  Can’t undo years of conditioning in a few months. I did think I would be able to hit him.  I went to the park fulling planning on punching him. I was surprised and a tiny bit frustrated that when it came time to do it, I couldn’t, but I was pretty pleased with what I did do.

I know he is not coming at me with everything he has and that if he wanted to he could stop me in a second, but for what he is showing me, I am learning and I am able to apply it.

I am there first and foremost to learn how to defend myself, but I have a crazy good time doing it.  Even when I am frustrated or nervous or covered in bruises…I love it!