Locked and loaded


Olympic medalist Hattie Johnson

The rifle was heavier than I expected.

I took a deep breath and exhaled, raised the .22 caliber rifle and settled the stock into my shoulder. It was loaded with live ammo. Next, the cheek weld—placing my cheek just so on the stock—the intimacy is undeniable—then guiding the rifle with my cheek in order to line up the sights.

It’s  actually a lot more complicated than that necessarily brief outline. An instructor called shooting the most Zen of all the martial arts, because you have to exert complete control over both mind and body. You have to shut out every extraneous thought and be aware of every muscle and breathe at the right times. You have to know every part of the weapon that becomes one with your body.

What did I feel? The main sensation was the novelty, the idea of finding myself in a place and situation where not only had I never been, I never imagined I would be. I listened to a discourse about shooting and weapons from a vantage point completely diverse from any I’d heard before.

Knowing I was a newbie, people kept asking me if I was having fun. Right now, it’s not my idea of fun, exactly, but that’s not to say it couldn’t be.

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Filed under Personal, Shooting, Women

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