My husband wanted me to feel more confident using my personal handgun to protect myself and our children. As we are the ones home full-time, he would feel better knowing I've had more training and feel more comfortable handling guns in general, especially my own.
So off I went to Arizona, in order to attend a Ladies Pistol course, at Gunsite Academy.
Maybe you are wondering why I titled this post "The GunSpa?" As I sat to lunch on Day 1, one of my fellow classmates commented that I was basically on a vacation after I told her the ages of my wee ones, and another classmate followed that up with "So you're at the GunSpa!" It stuck.
The course is three days long, and chock full of information. I'm currently writing this at the end of Day 2. I'm feeling both good and bad about Day 3. Tomorrow is a simulation run in a building - scary pressure going on right now that I've managed not to think about until I started typing this. Must.Ignore! The key is positive self-talk. My shooting is not horrible, but the pressure doesn't help it ;-) I just hope my body isn't too sore from all the shooting we did today.
The other ladies are shooting 9mm and .380 pistols, which means smaller ammo AND lighter guns. Since I use a .45, and not a light one at that (though I do have my lighter one with me, however it kicks that much more because of the weight), my arms get worn out a bit quicker than theirs when we have to hold our arms out at ready position for a few minutes at a time. I am actually renting a full-size version of my own pistol, as of this morning, because it doesn't kick as much. I have a bad built-in habit of flinching from shooting my 3" barrel .45s over the years. I'm finding that working against the flinching is my biggest obstacle at this moment. A pretty awesome tip I learned on Day 1 was that having a full-size version of a smaller handgun (be it pistol or revolver) will help keep bad habits from becoming ingrained.
I bring up the ammo size for those ladies out there who don't currently shoot or own their own gun. Most women do prefer 9mm and .380, and for good reason. I am in very good shape when it comes to my arms and upper body, thanks to tossing hay bales and bags of feed around, yet my gun kicks my butt over periods of time. I always start out good, and considering it is for self-protection I wouldn't be holding it out for an hour straight, so I know that it will get the job done. I do not switch to a smaller caliber because we prefer to stick with only a few calibers so that we don't have a huge variety of ammo that we have to make sure to buy. We seem to be the minority in that line of thinking; most people we talk to who are gun enthusiasts seem to want one of everything, we just aren't like that.
Anyway, back to the class. I have learned a lot, and not just in regards to shooting. Today we had a good long talk about mindset, in general. Not just when it comes to carrying a gun, being comfortable shooting and carrying a gun, so on and so forth. No, it's also about being more aware of surroundings and thinking of what we would do if something happened, be it a home-invasion, earthquake, fire, etc. It seems I was already doing pretty good, because I do that when I go places. Huck and I have also already discussed certain scenarios when it comes to our home.
I very much look forward to tomorrow. It will be a good day, and then I will be headed off to home again to see my babies early Saturday (and yes, by "my babies" I do mean my Huckleberry too).