Ladies – get out of your comfort zone!!

Lil Chantilly lounging around on a Saturday AFTER she went to the rifle range!
Lil Chantilly lounging around on a Saturday AFTER she went to the rifle range!

Reasons NOT to do something new, there are a million! The main one is simply the unknown.  People, including myself, are wary of what they have not yet learned or experienced. When I was younger, I used to care a lot about what people thought and resisted new experiences because I didn’t want to feel stupid. The thing is – how else will you ever learn unless you get out there?  I have been very clear on this blog that I am relatively new to shooting (compared to other gun bloggers).  I have been around guns all my life, and shot guns here and there because of my mom, my friends, or the military – but I didn’t really find my passion for firearms until about 5 or 6 years ago. As promised, I do capture as much as I can about what I am learning right here on this page.

I usually have a friend or two to go to the range with, and I like it that way. It is a good social experience, everyone has something they can teach someone else, and it just plain makes me more comfortable.  I have no problems going to the indoor pistol range close to my house by myself; it is a small quiet place (well, except for all the gunfire!) If you have been reading my blog, you know that I am trying very hard to learn long range shooting, out to 1,000 yards and beyond. I ALWAYS do that with my friends who share a similar hobby. When I am in the Midwest, I always have someone to go with.  Here in California, I do not have any friends who are interested in this type of shooting.  So, if I want to go to the rifle range, I have to go by myself. This puts up mental barriers for me:

I still have that voice that tells me people might think I am silly

I could be one of the only ladies out there

I am still a complete novice compared to many people

It is against my nature to go on adventures alone

What if people at the range are mean?

I have been planning on going to a range on the Pala Indian Reservation, they have steel targets out to 875 yards, and that would be great practice for when I get my 6XC (I only have a Remington 5R (.223) here in San Diego).  The long-range targets are only available at Pala one Sunday a month (so it seems).  So, I have been trying to find another good range, and the South Bay Rod and Gun Club in Delzura, CA sounded good to me today.  I had never been there, but someone told me it was a great place, with a rifle range out to 300 yards.

The roadblocks came again:

Well, it is Saturday, and the range will be crowded

What if I drive all the way out there and there is a match

What if I drive out there and the range is full?

It’s ridiculous, just get in the car and go to the range!

Wait – I think I need my allen wrenches, in case I need to fix my zero.

Maybe I need some more water, it is very hot out east

Let’s print out directions incase I lose cell service (this was legitimate)

Wait – I should take a pistol just incase I want to shoot that too.

Did I get enough ammo?

I swear to you – I did get on the road eventually, and all those things my own head kept telling me had nothing to do with shooting, they had everything to do with avoidance of the unknown, delaying a moment where I might become uncomfortable.

I pulled up to the new range, talked to the Range Officer, he was just as nice as he could be, and yes I was the only female for most the morning. They DID have a space for me, and they signed me in and I set up my rifle.  By the time the morning was over, I made four new friends, let a guy borrow my allen wrenches, because I was the only one within a few tables that thought to bring them, and had a great talk with one of the Range Officers about how awesome the Accuracy International Chassis are on the Remington 5R!

I stayed there for about two hours, and simply had a blast learning WITHOUT the stress of my rifle mentors looking over my shoulder reminding me of what I was doing wrong. (Don’t forget to dial, you didn’t close your bolt, you need to drop your bi-pod, etc…) Yes – I did things wrong, and I figured them out, and simply had fun shooting.

The moral of this story is:  Get off the couch and go try something new, something YOU have been wanting to do, even if no one else wants to go too, even if you aren’t sure how to do it, even if you are just learning. Get off the couch and try. Why? The reality is that the accomplishment feels SO much better than the comfort of sitting still.

And even better: The NEXT time will be MUCH easier!

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