Crazy, busy day yesterday. I started off right away going skijoring with Java. We went to Elm Creek park instead of Bunker, in hopes that the trails might be in better condition there. With the repeated thawing during the day and freezing at night, the snow has become crusty, icy, and packed.
Elm Creek wasn’t quite as icy as Bunker, but the snow did not have much give and there are no grooves for traditional cross-country except where the two trails intersect, so it was some work keeping my skis going where I wanted them to go. The truly nice thing about the Elm Creek trails is that the trails are pretty, there are several options on which way to go, and the hills are gentle slopes instead of sharp up and downs, like Bunker has. I didn’t fall once. That’s really probably because I’m getting so much better. Right…
Java and I went skijoring at Elm Creek again today and managed to pass by several people. Some she went by with no problem but a jogger had to leap sideways and she passed a lady but then doubled back to say hello. But still, it’s progress. Java ran really hard for a long ways (chasing a skier) and we cut 15 minutes off our run. She was a little pooped when we got home.
I wasn’t even going to talk about how I spent my Saturday afternoon, as I was afraid some people really don’t like guns, but the class was so interesting, so I just have to share. If you have strong anti-gun feelings, exit now.
I took a ladies only Basic Handgun Familiarization Course at a gun shop. I have never handled a gun in my life. I’m actually pretty afraid of them, which would explain my shaky hands in the class. I must have looked like Deputy Barney Fife from Mayberry. If you are too young to know who I’m talking about, you’ll just have to google him.
Anyway, the best way to handle fear is to either avoid what you are afraid of or learn as much as you can about it. Plus, if I’m going to go camping and road tripping around the country by myself, I’m considering that I might want some kind of protection.
The reasons, ages, and “types” of women in the class were pretty varied. There was one lady that looked like June Cleaver (I’m really dating myself; you might have to google her too) who said she convinced her husband that they should buy a gun. He was out in the lobby holding her coat and purse during the class.
Several women were there because their husband or boyfriend had guns and wanted them to learn how to shoot. Gee, my husband refused to teach me how to use a gun. I think I know why now.
One young woman, who had moved here from the Ukraine and looked fashionable in that way that only Europeans seem able to pull off, didn’t really say why she was there. I think she wanted to buy an accessory for her “Almost Famous” jeans and designer purse. OK, I admit it, I’m being catty. It’s what happens when you wear “Lucky” jeans and are feeling anything but lucky.
Then there was the lady that was taking the class because her husband was recently diagnosed with prostrate cancer. At first, I thought that meant she was really angry and wanted to shoot something. But in talking further, it seemed that learning to shoot a gun was something she’d wanted to do for a long time. Oh, I get that. When faced with our own mortality or the mortality of someone close to us, people tend to decide to quit putting off some of the things they’ve always wanted to do. In my case, during my marriage, I held back on doing so many things that I’m passionate or just plain curious about that I’m now on a mission to try and make up for lost time.
The class instructor did a wonderful job of explaining things, with a big emphasis on safety, and answering questions. Being a technical writer by trade, I found the diagrams and explanations of how the different types of guns work and the various kinds of ammunition to be fascinating. I know, it’s kind of sad.
The instructor had us practice loading and unloading the guns and had us handle a couple different revolvers and about ten different semi-automatics to see what fit our hand best. After we picked out what we thought felt the best, we went out onto the range and were able to shoot thirty rounds with various guns we wanted to try. I liked the Ruger SR9c, Sig Sauer p239, and Smith & Wesson M & P. I forgot to even try the revolvers, which are certainly simpler than the semi-automatics. Next time.
I was pretty nervous and worried about making a fool out of myself but I’m actually a pretty darn good shot and it was fun! Well, except I must have pinched the tip of my ring finger in the semi-automatic slide. I didn’t notice until I had blood all over my hands. Funny how those little slices bleed like a son-of-a-gun. Maybe that’s where that saying came from…
I almost went back to the shooting range today because my church had a couple hours reserved for people to go target practice at the same gun shop. That’s right — my church. Christians packin’ heat. It’s scary.
I will need to go back and try my favorites again as I was so freaked out by how loud the durn things are (how can people shoot without ear protection?) and trying not to do something stupid, I forgot to keep track of which one I was able to best handle the kick from and still be accurate. Like I’ve said before, I like learning new things and striving to get better at whatever it is. I think this might be a fun new challenge for me.